Can you imagine being fired from your job for being good? That’s essentially what happened to the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota when they were “involuntarily” dismissed from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in May for “competitive reasons”.
University of St. Thomas has won six MIAC football championships since the start of the 2010 season and beat their opening opponent Hamline University 74-14. The MIAC had threatened to disband the league last year because the University of St. Thomas was just that good.
The university received an invitation to join the Summit League, a mid-major D-I league, but the NCAA doesn’t allow schools to make the jump from D-III to D-I. But still the university submitted a waiver and who knows maybe the NCAA will make an exception just this once.
I have mixed feelings about the university making the jump to D-1. On on the one hand if they are dominating in their current league why not let them flex their muscles against the D-1 schools. They could continue to dominate on the larger stage which could lead to these athletes getting more recognition and so on.
But then on the other hand, what if they’re only dominating because they’re in D-iii? What if once they get on the big stage of D-I they get dominated? They might not be able to compete with the big dogs. What if they make it on the big stage and a lot of guys get seriously hurt? Is that a risk the NCAA is willing to let the team make? It’s a double-edged sword and could be a lose-lose for the NCAA.
Either way it’s not fair to these kids that because they just happened to be a severely talented team they get kicked out of their league. They deserve the chance to play and hopefully they aren’t sidelined for too long.