St. Thomas University, Minnesota


St. Thomas University, Minnesota

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LurkingDog
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During the 2017 season, St. Thomas broke an unwritten football rule, beating St. Olaf 97-0.  That got the reaction one might expect from clubbing baby seals.  The consequence? Getting kicked out of its D-III conference yesterday for reasons of "athletic competitive parity."  And that's too bad...their annual Minneapolis football game against St. John's has regularly drawn big crowds (over 37,000 for the 2017 game).  Maybe the Johnnies-Tommies rivalry can be salvaged.

There is talk of St. Thomas--a Drake peer school with 6,100 undergraduate students--moving up to D-I.  NCAA rules, however, would require going to D-II first.  Pretty sure that a stop at the D-II level by itself would take at least five years.  But rules are made to be waived on occasion.  I'm wondering whether St. Thomas will try to find an expedited path to D-I and Pioneer football.

Speaking of the PFL, I still expect Augustana U to become a member someday.  With Augie moving up, there might be a D-II home for St. Thomas, however temporary, in the NSIC. 

Obviously, finding D-I all-sports conferences for one or both of them would be another issue.





LurkingDog
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They may be looking for games, beginning with the 2021 season.  If Drake ever schedules a D-III team again, St. Thomas would be my choice.



LDog2013
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LurkingDog - 5/23/2019
During the 2017 season, St. Thomas broke an unwritten football rule, beating St. Olaf 97-0.  That got the reaction one might expect from clubbing baby seals.  The consequence? Getting kicked out of its D-III conference yesterday for reasons of "athletic competitive parity."  And that's too bad...their annual Minneapolis football game against St. John's has regularly drawn big crowds (over 37,000 for the 2017 game).  Maybe the Johnnies-Tommies rivalry can be salvaged.

There is talk of St. Thomas--a Drake peer school with 6,100 undergraduate students--moving up to D-I.  NCAA rules, however, would require going to D-II first.  Pretty sure that a stop at the D-II level by itself would take at least five years.  But rules are made to be waived on occasion.  I'm wondering whether St. Thomas will try to find an expedited path to D-I and Pioneer football.

Speaking of the PFL, I still expect Augustana U to become a member someday.  With Augie moving up, there might be a D-II home for St. Thomas, however temporary, in the NSIC. 

Obviously, finding D-I all-sports conferences for one or both of them would be another issue.

I've always thought the same, which other minnesota school could-would be interested in making the jump to D1. The talk of wanting Murray St means the MVC would need another private school to add. Pretty sure the Summit would be interested too.


LurkingDog
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LDog2013 - 5/23/2019
... which other minnesota school could-would be interested in making the jump to D1. 


If there is one--and I doubt it--it would probably be St. John's. 

St. John's gets a new president this year. Maybe if the Tommies made a move, St. John's would follow.  Getting pretty far out there with our speculation.



LurkingDog
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The MVFC expands to 11 members in 2020, with the addition of North Dakota.  They are running out of room for additions.

As for the Valley's other football conference, the Pioneer doesn't do round-robin scheduling, so expansion is not as limited.  Potential additions line up as follows.

--Presbyterian: joining in 2021.

--Augustana University:  Details on their plans to go D-I should be announced soon.  More likely football joins the PFL (3-5 years from now) than the MVFC.

--Wisconsin-Green Bay:  Only "whispers" of joining the PFL for now.  New AD may have consultant study done within next two years.  Even if they get serious about football, it's hard to see how they could put a team on the field before 2025.

--St. Thomas:  Will attempt to find a new D-III conference home over the next two school years.  If they fail, they might choose a long journey to D-I (including some time in D-II).  Total time to D-I would likely be at least 14 years.  In the unlikely event St Thomas leaves their current conference before getting evicted in 2021, the Tommies might be able to get to D-I in 12 years.  I'll believe it when I see it.

--St. John's:  Less than zero chance of them leaving D-III in the foreseeable future.  No reason for the Johnnies to do anything unless St. Thomas makes a move.






Lime
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A little birdie says St. Thomas, ousted by the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Association, could end up in the Division I Pioneer League for football and the Division I Summit League for its other sports. The university recently hired two assistant athletics directors.


https://www.twincities.com/2019/07/27/charley-walters-higher-payroll-with-more-wins-is-part-of-the-deal-for-twins-pohlad/

LurkingDog
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Lime - 8/8/2019
A little birdie says St. Thomas, ousted by the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Association, could end up in the Division I Pioneer League for football and the Division I Summit League for its other sports. The university recently hired two assistant athletics directors.


https://www.twincities.com/2019/07/27/charley-walters-higher-payroll-with-more-wins-is-part-of-the-deal-for-twins-pohlad/

A proposal to allow reclassification directly from D-III to D-I is being examined by an NCAA committee.  Meanwhile, St. Thomas' D-III conference is letting them stay up to two more years. 



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St. Thomas to the Summit if they can get the D3 to D1 waiver approved

https://www.stthomas.edu/athletics/athletics-conference-update/index.html

https://www.stthomas.edu/athletics/oct-4-2019-announcement/index.html

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This would technically give the Summit 6 football schools, could be a pathway toward a future league if those schools wanted to peel off from the MVFC.
LurkingDog
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Did the Summit membership just give the middle finger to Augustana?  Some of them haven't seemed happy with T. Denny Sanford's money pushing a tiny private school into the Summit...especially given Augie's location in Sioux Falls, which is where the Summit has its men's basketball tournament.  Not sure the Summit takes anyone else if St. Thomas joins.  Maybe more light will be shed on this during the Summit's meeting next month.



LurkingDog
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On second thought, adding Augustana and St. Thomas would give the Summit 10 members.  That's because they will lose Ft. Wayne after this year.  Ten is a good number for them.

If Augustana drops football scholarships and joins the PFL with St. Thomas and Presby, the league would have 13 teams in 2021.  That's a lot.

Alternatively, Augie could increase scholarships and (in theory) get an invitation to the MVFC.  Or if you really want to advance a crazy theory, Augustana could give the Summit enough teams to qualify for an automatic NCAA playoff bid in FCS football.  Not sure the Dakota schools and Western Illinois want to break off from the MVFC...just sayin'



LurkingDog
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LurkingDog - 10/4/2019
On second thought, adding Augustana and St. Thomas would give the Summit 10 members.  That's because they will lose Ft. Wayne after this year.  Ten is a good number for them.



I forgot about UMKC's plan to join the Summit.  However, Augie is still talking to the Summit.  Hopefully, they are more than the Summit's backup plan.



GO


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