MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you can’t beat ’em, send ’em packing?

The University of St. Thomas will be “involuntarily” removed from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The decision was voted on by the 13 other school presidents. On Wednesday, the MIAC Presidents’ Council says “athletic competitive parity” was the primary concern involved in the decision.

In the past 15 years St. Thomas won 47% of all MIAC championships in both team and individual sports.

“I think the majority of the Conference is tired of St. Thomas big footing them in a lot of sports and football is the lightning rod,” sportscaster Eric Nelson, who has called St. Thomas football games for 15 years, said.

Nelson said the irony is that this past season, two MIAC teams — Bethel and St. Johns — beat St. Thomas.

The transition will begin immediately. St. Thomas will be eligible to compete as a full member of MIAC through the end of spring 2021. School officials say they’re not sure where they’ll end up.

“St. Thomas is one of seven founding members of the MIAC and will leave the conference in good standing with a long and appreciated history of academic and athletic success,” the MIAC said.

St. Thomas President Dr. Julie Sullivan released a statement, calling the decision “extremely disappointing” but are beginning a “deliberative process to explore other options.”

“I am proud of our success in athletics and of our student-athletes, who excel in the classroom as well as in competition. We have a strong and proud athletic history at St. Thomas – and I am certain we also have a bright future,” Sullivan said.

It’s not clear whether the legendary Tommies-Johnnies rivalry will continue in the future.

“If there is an opportunity to continue the rivalry, we will do that, we would like to see that continue,” St. Thomas athletic director Phil Esten said. “All options are on the table for us right now.”

Read the full statement below:

Esme Murphy

Comments (5)
  1. Connie Francis says:

    The MIAC are sorry losers that don’t like how well St Thomas plays in athletics. Next will be St Johns. MIAC should be looking at their own schools and deciding if they are actually competitive or should drop some of the athletic program. I wish St Thomas continued success in athletics!

  2. Bradd Perkins says:

    What a sad commentary on the MIAC. When the going gets tough, the MIAC Presidents start whining. Beware St. Johns and Bethel . . . they are coming for you next!

  3. Gregory Fritz says:

    MIAC bunch of spineless jelly fish loser’s …St Johns will be next for winning too many football games…..whining cry babies

  4. Gregory Fritz says:

    Pathetic MIAC belongs in the Tri Metro Conference..if they afraid of competition

  5. John Kenneth Chagnon says:

    A sign of the times. Instead of working to become better themselves they penalize the hard work and effort of others. These college presidents, instead of rising to the challenge, have, essentially, created “safe spaces” for their teams to shield them from reality. In the end the students themselves will be the losers because they will be horribly unequipped to live and work in a world that’s very different from the kindergarten their colleges have become.