Tommies invited to D-I conference

Photo by Caleb Williams,

The University of St. Thomas, which was involuntarily removed from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference effective 2021, has found a new home in Division I, if the NCAA will approve the move.

The Summit League is a collection of schools which spans from Indiana to Denver.

The MIAC announced in May that St. Thomas would be removed from the conference effective the fall of 2021. The conference's Presidents Council cited athletic competitive parity in the conference as a primary concern. 

"Joining the Summit League would be a unique and exciting opportunity for St. Thomas, allowing us to significantly expand our impact and reach," Julie Sullivan, the university president, said in an announcement. "It is a strong Midwest Division I conference that includes both public and private competitors. Under the direction of commissioner Tom Douple, the conference has grown in strength and success over the past several years."

The Summit League does not sponsor football. If St. Thomas continues to sponsor football, it could compete in a conference such as the Pioneer League, which includes Division I schools from across the country which do not offer football scholarships. 

The university's announcement says it would actively pursue affiliate membership for football and ice hockey.

Current NCAA rules do not allow a school to transition directly from NCAA Division III to NCAA Division I. The school has said it is pursuing a waiver of that requirement.

This story will be updated.