The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) is showing one of its most successful founding members the door.
The 13-school Division III league has decided to kick out the University of St. Thomas, one of its founding members, due to concerns about “athletic competitive parity.”
In short, St. Thomas is just too good at sports for the rest of the MIAC, and if the Tommies had stayed, the teams they had been pummeling were considering leaving, threatening the future of the conference.
St. Thomas has an enrollment about twice the size of the next largest school in the MIAC and is one of just two league members with at least 100 players on the football team, according to Pat Borzi of MinnPost. Add in the fact that in 2017 the Tommies’ conference results included an 84–0 rout of Hamline and a 97–0 thrashing of St. Olaf, and it starts to make sense why other schools wanted them gone.
St. Thomas only started dominating football after current coach Glenn Caruso arrived in 2008, but the school has begun to dominate most other sports, too. Since the 2013–14 school year, St. Thomas has 72 MIAC titles across all sports; the next closest league member has 16. According to Borzi, the university’s decisions to bring back its law school in 1999 and to add a nursing program soon have also ruffled feathers at smaller MIAC institutions located nearby in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area.
But at the end of the day, St. Thomas was one of the seven founding members of the conference and is now being told it’s too good and has to leave at the end of spring 2021.
Why ever try at anything when being awesome can backfire on you in such an aggressive way?