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Messages - miac952

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1
I get a kick out of the most recent Star Tribune articleís comments section. Most commenters seem supportive of UST, but those who arenít tend to talk about enrollments and academic requirements. They say that UST is too large and doesnít focus on recruiting for academic excellence. UST supporters quickly counter by talking about how enrollment numbers donít matter at the college level because coaches arenít recruiting from the student body, and then cite all sorts of things meant to show USTís academic prowess, most notably employment rates and starting salaries after college.

Everyone seems to be missing the point. STO et al. donít have a problem with USTís enrollment just because it provides a larger pool of potential recruits.  They have a problem because the larger enrollment allows UST to match and/or supersede them athletically AND academically, which is its current trajectory.

Letís compare STO and UST. Thereís currently a two-point difference between the median ACTs at STO and UST. STO has roughly 3K undergraduates; 1.5K achieved a 29 or better on the ACT. UST has roughly 6K undergraduates; roughly 1.5K achieved a 29 or better on the ACT. In other words, these two schools have the same number of academically potent students on campus.

That being said, USTís larger enrollment affords it the opportunity to recruit students gifted in other ways (athletics) without greatly impacting its overall academic selectivity. STOís smaller enrollment offers far less leeway, and I donít see it being able and/or wanting to expand student numbers anytime soon. Places like STO with smaller enrollments canít accept many athletes with lower ACT scores without significantly diminishing their overall selectivity. Because of the larger enrollment, places like UST can recruit a sufficient number of less academically potent athletes and still remain highly selective.

Thereís nothing wrong with the way UST is positioned; nor is there a problem with it recruiting stellar athletes with less that optimal academic credentials. Doing so doesnít mean that itís less academic either. All the Ivy League schools do the same thing, as their athletes tend to have far lower academic qualifications than the other students on campus. STO et al. have a problem with UST because they donít have the same advantages.

Reworded - Because St Thomas is much bigger than other schools, it can recruit low-academic athletes that the rest of the MIAC can't because they can't get accepted into the rest of the MIAC schools. Most MIAC schools can't afford to expand, and those that can would destroy their small and selective approach that has become their (highly successful) calling card. The issue here isn't the rest of the MIAC failing to be as "great" of institutions as St Thomas, its that St Thomas has grown out of the league and is using this growth to beat the other schools into submission by eliminating the academic requirements most D3 private schools have.

Side note, spare me the sympathy for the death of the Tommie-Johnnie game, which only increases media coverage for the two schools and not the league as a whole, and is a major influx of cash that other D3 schools will never have. If you think it's fair that St Thomas and St Johns get to play annually at places like Target Field, and think that this isn't a ridiculously unfair recruiting advantage, than you probably went to either St Thomas or St Johns.

Never mind the fact UST admission standards have climbed steadily over the last decade putting their ACT & class rank scores just behind the C.O.L ringleader in Northfield. Also never mind the fact that UST keeps admissions firewalled from athletics. Facts donít appear to be a strong suit of yours 4040. That doesnít bode well for the reputation of the ďselectiveĒ school you attended. Maybe if Carleton took the $ they dedicate to Quidditch and Frolf and instead paid a reasonable amount for coaches and shoulder pads that donít need duct tape, they could have their own version of Tommie - Johnnie. The woe is me attitude from Northfield is tiresome.

2
I really don't see the WIAC happening. Way too many differences in strut

I have nothing to base this on, but I suspect the reason the whole vote was squashed in April was for UST to get their ducks in a row and set a glide path out of the MIAC. There probably had been some planning on it previously, but unlikely that they were ready to move so soon. I would anticipate this to be a lengthy departure (2 -4 years). If the MIAC isn't willing to do that, the school Presidents in the C.O.L may find themselves in a court tussle. Taking Auggie's (not the C.O.L Augie) spot in the NSIC seems most probable if there were odds on this thing.

3
I wonder how recruiting is going at St. Olaf.  That's got to be fun to answer questions from recruits/parents about the recent happenings.
Recruiting to St. Thomas has to be way more difficult right now.  They're recruiting players for a future scholarship team without scholarships.  When current recruits work their way up the depth chart after a couple years, the scholarship players will start to roll in and take over.  I guess you could say in 2 years maybe we'll have a 25% scholarship for you if you're good enough.
Not many of the football scholarships at D2 are full scholarships. Most are far below full, especially in the NSIC. Someone here knows the limit but for some reason I recall the NSIC allows less per team than other D2 conferences*. Back when the earth cooled and I had a short stint at UMD some of the Scholarships were $800.

*Now I see the NSIC can offer the full amount as of this year; 36 full scholarships but they have to be split up between the entire roster of deserving players. $1,000 here $1,500 there and a full scholly to a few players.

Spot on OldAuggie. Donít think much has changed in that time actually.

The only thing I would add is that while the NSIC allow the full amount of scholarships, many schools in the NSIC donít ďfully fundĒ their teams up tot he max amount. I donít think CSP or Northern State are playing with a full deck, when compared to Mankato or Winona. Sound familiar  :D(different level - same problems). This was part of the reason St Cloud went down the path it did in looking to cut a couple sports a few years ago. They preferred to get as close to fully funding some sports vs. handicapping a wider number of teams.

4
There seems to be a common belief among many that the conference would be "much weaker" or worse off without St. Thomas. Maybe the absolute top would be weaker at a national level with that one team in each sport. But I look back to the late 1970s to 1990s when there was no single dominant entity. Each school seemed to have a chance to capture a title now and then in most sports. Heck, if you look at just football which is probably the most difficult to compete in, Carleton, Hamline, St. Olaf, and Gustavus all won titles in that period even though St. Johns and Concordia were the most dominant. Even Macalester challenged with good teams in the 1980s for a brief period.

The MIAC still had nationally relevant teams in the period yet with more balanced conference competition from year to year.

That kind of competitive environment was a hell of a lot more interesting than the current set up. Maybe it's simply not possible to achieve that parity anymore; which would be too bad.

What makes you believe kicking out UST is going to change the athletic ambitions of Carleton, MAC, Augsburg, and Hamline. They arenít going to magically improve. Nor is St Olaf. Theyíve spent the Bette fort of a decade commuting resources to athletics and they are still performing poorly.

SJU will dominate with a modest push from Bethel, Gustavus, and Concordia and in about eight years  the weasel down on the hill will squeeze the Johnís, with a more put together COL

5
What about the University Athletic Association with Emory, Rochester, Wash U, Chicago, Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western and NYU?  Seven of these schools have undergraduate enrollments between 3,700 and 6,600 with an average of 5,250.  NYU is an extreme outlier with an enrollment of 20,950 (not included in above average).

No conference football though, so UST might have to drop football.  Lot's of air travel and hotel stays, but the savings from football would possibly offset the increased travel costs.

Loss of prestige from "no football", but very prestigious schools.  Positive impact on endowment?

Would the UAA even accept UST?

Edit:  5 of the 8 UAA schools play football in other conferences closer to home.  (Liberty, MWC, CCIW, and the PAC.)

Not a chance. Those are top-tier prestigious academic schools. UST academics have improved and I got a great education there, etc etc but it's not anywhere near that tier.

Yes. All AAU members. UST, in its wildest academic ambitions is a couple decades away from that being a possibility.

The DIII, to DII, to DI path is the only foreseeable route.

6
Rachel Blount and the Star Tribune have obtained an email from Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow detailing his reason for voting to kick out the Tommies.  http://www.startribune.com/augsburg-president-reluctantly-supports-removing-st-thomas-from-miac/509752432/ 

Quote
In an exchange with an Augsburg supporter, Pribbenow wrote that several schools have threatened to leave the MIAC in recent years. He said he wants "the MIAC to remain as whole as is possible," even if it means St. Thomas must be expelled.

"My sense is that we have reached a consensus that will keep 12 schools together in the MIAC and that we will support St. Thomas's efforts to find a new conference home," Pribbenow replied to the Augsburg supporter, who wrote to express his opposition to removing St. Thomas. "I can assure you that if we had not reached this consensus, the MIAC would have imploded, leaving all of us in a far less attractive position."

Pribbenow is Kevin Bacon in Animal House, with St Olaf's Anderson standing over him with a paddle. "Thank you sir may I have another." He couldn't look any weaker, and clearly his donor constituent that leaked this is embarrassed by his response. What a mess. Wikileaks...MIAC edition

7
The money figures are a bit misleading IMO.

Does the half of Caruso's salary that comes from "consulting" for a football booster get listed in these numbers? Definitely not.

* The arms race aspect is part of this, and has already been mentioned.
* The willingness to throw significant financial aid packages at players they want to land is part of this. Maybe those aid packages aren't out of the norm for the general student body (it's also not hard to shift those numbers around either). But that only underscores the problem. If UST is putting together vastly superior aid programs for students across the board that Hamline and Augsburg can't compete with, it makes a difference in enrollment. And when enrollment numbers are what keep you afloat, that matters.
* Where does the money for coaching staff salaries come from? Are there deep pockets helping to offset assistant salaries? Paid out of non-UST managed funds? If so these don't show up in the numbers either.

Anecdotally, a good friend of mine was an All American soccer player at the U. She was asked to be an assistant coach for Hamline this past fall. She wasn't doing it for the Starbucks caramel macchiato they paid her. But she also got an inside look at the differences between what the Hamline HC was trying to accomplish compared specifically to UST. Her words, before any of this TomToss came up, was that UST was a lot closer to what she experienced at Minnesota than to what the rest of the MIAC was doing.

Again, there's nothing wrong with UST leveraging all its resources. And I have sympathy for the schools that sit right in her shadow and are trying to compete for students & student athletes. What I don't have a lot of sympathy for are the Olaf's of the world. UST is beating them at their own game, and they don't like it.

I like that we've gotten to the it's the media's fault portion of this. Took a bit longer than usual in today's world but good to see.
For my part, I am in no way blaming the media, but I know many are. My chief complaint is the institutional refusal to let the media know what the hell is going on, which leads to rampant speculation and 97-0 finding its way into every article.

My guess is, there's no good way to spin this for the COL, so they're probably thinking they might as well say nothing.

The 'no comment' approach by most of these institutions is certainly not giving media members much to go on. But it's not as if they're asking "what's going on in the MIAC." They are pontificating about what's going and lumping all the schools together. I highly doubt Dan Barreiro reached out to MIAC institutions for comments before he declared the whole league a bunch of idiots. Reusse actually appears to have been doing all he could to get comments on the record. But that's also part of his frustration. He's directly called out Anderson for driving all of this, and then not having the guts to comment or own publicly that he's the one leading the parade.

Thoughtful post. As a UST backer I would absolutely agree that they are playing with a better hand than Augsburg, Hamline, Bethel.

BUT, the argument is lost when I see St Olaf being the one dragging this down the path it is. When Phil Lundeen left the U of M track program to go to St Olaf I know he got a pay raise to do it. When Mike Eaves was let go as Wisconsin's Head Hockey Coach, I know his compensation did not drop off too much. I know they paid big $ to bring in the Associated AD from the University of Maryland that oversaw Maryland's B1G transition as well. Coach Meidt's scores were fine and dandy, but when the table turned I guess not. President Anderson and Um Ya Ya have been playing the same game as UST for quite a while; they have just failed miserably at it. And, now he is kicking and screaming. If I was Auggie or Hamline's Prez I would tell Anderson to take a hike, because he is doing the same thing.

Part of me wonders if Julie Sullivan is ok with how this is playing out. It may have been her ambition to take this track from DIII to DII to DI all along. She came from San Diego after all. She hired Phil Esten. Now she can just wipe her hands clean of it, and blame it on the C.O.L when her constituents get fired up about leaving behind the history and tradition of the MIAC.

8
I don't like the COL terminology.  Other than STO who seem in peak whinge mode, I reckon many of these schools have serious issues and legit complaints.  It's just football, remember.  The most expensive sport at a school.  It's one thing to be dominated and another to be run out of business (which I believe is a legit concern for some "COL" members).

I think that many MIAC programs feel that they are taken advantage of in football, rather than partnered with.  It's not just the fact that UST recruits a lot of players, it's the fact that recruiting is seems unfairly competitive and is at the deliberate expense of partner MIAC programs.  I suspect they feel like UST is not merely competitive but is perhaps approaches being uncollaborative, even vindictive, in football.

I suspect it's not just being thrashed on the field, but having it rubbed in the faces of their players and parents.  Anyone should take getting beat, even badly, particularly by programs committed to national competitiveness in this extremely competitive D3 era.  It's a whole 'nother thing to have it rubbed in your face.  Students, parents and alumni would have little interest in paying high fees so that their kids can be punching bags in some juvenile rivalry between coaches.

To be frank, this whole "UST and other high achieving programs are the real victims of these whinging losers" schtick is ludicrous.  The real people getting lost in the shuffle of all this whinging and big-noting are the students and parents going into debt do give themselves a leg up in life.  They don't need to put up with this bulls***t.  And as long as UST and STO and whomever keep carrying on like porkchops then UST will be on a one-way train out of here.  Because UST football success is of zero significance compared to the missions of the liberal arts institutions in Minnesota.

I'm of the strong opinion that UST should stay.  The apparent inability of UST (and the media supporters) to show even an ounce of humility is what will ensure they do not.

Only part I might disagree with is the end here Oz. Because of how closed off this has been we do not if UST has shown humility or offered concessions. They may have also told Anderson and his followers to get bent too, but once again, there are firewalls preventing us from knowing any of this. And the media is the media; do not expect humility from Reusse and others. What has been astounding though is the landslide with which side they have all reported from. Chip, Judd, McFeeley, Reusse, and national beats like Football Scoop and D3 have eviscerated the C.O.L. ( :P)

Regardless of the fate or outcome, I continue to struggle most with the hypocrisy of the guy leading this charge, down on the hill in Northfield. He had Meidt as a head coach under his tenure rolling up scores, bussing kids up from Dade County, and making questionable sportsmanship decisions that make modern day UST look like saints. He has dumped money into athletic facilites and D1 coaches and Athletic Directors at a rate equal to UST.

Hamline and Augsburg - I can empathize and see where they are coming from. Bethel too, although it sounds like they are not a part of this contingent.

St Olaf - This is a complete embarrassment and mockery of their institution based on the above.

9
I think that if you look at the overall record, CSB was second only to UST but what do I know.  :)

Hamline had the toughest strength of schedule in the MIAC, finished head of St. Ben's in the standings, and took the Tommies into 11 innings for the championship. Hamline got screwed.

https://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/change_sport_year_div

These kinds of micro-aggressions by the Bennies will get them kicked to the curb by weasel prez on the hill and his C.O.L.

10
UST would be the Nazi's.

Not the finest moment on this board.

11
Chucker - the scholarships get audited by the NCAA against the non athlete student body every year. This has been brought up baselessly on here a few times already.

Also, note UST Footballís rise came long before any facilities. Caruso had them in the NCAA quarters long before the facility developments were a reality. At that time they had rusting weights in a hot box of a weight room that small high schools would ridicule today. They won a national championship in hockey playing in a horse barn at the fairgrounds. They dominated track and field while in one of the saddest indoor facilities in the conference. Baseball won a national title while having to move 7 man blocking sleds into foul territory before games started, leaving huge ruts in the outfield; also the location for hammer and shot put by the way. You really test your mettle as a center fielder shagging fly balls while dodging hammer throws from the throwers.

Meanwhile, St Olaf has had some of the best facilities in the MIAC for some time. The gigantic fieldhouse with a 2nd deck, the $10 million ice arena, and the separate football training facilities. Yet, they are the ringleader of this mess. Letís not forget they had a football program rolling up huge scores on teams in the last decade, while building a recruiting pipeline from Dade and Broward counties, leading to skepticism from the rest of the conference. Note, this was all under President Andersonís watch by the way. The other schools didnít decide to cut and run.
UST has never won a hockey national title in either gender.  Baseball won 2 national titles but I fear you're exaggerating greatly regarding the multi-sport use of the ballfield. Sorry

2000 hockey was runner-up, that was what I was thinking of.

Take a quick look at google maps. You'll find javelin and hammer throw setups in the outfield of the baseball complex. Up until a few years ago they also had the 7 man sleds up there too. During fall baseball practice those often had to be moved by the baseball team before practice. https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9454705,-93.1913691,180m/data=!3m1!1e3

12
Chucker - the scholarships get audited by the NCAA against the non athlete student body every year. This has been brought up baselessly on here a few times already.

Also, note UST Footballís rise came long before any facilities. Caruso had them in the NCAA quarters long before the facility developments were a reality. At that time they had rusting weights in a hot box of a weight room that small high schools would ridicule today. They won a national championship in hockey playing in a horse barn at the fairgrounds. They dominated track and field while in one of the saddest indoor facilities in the conference. Baseball won a national title while having to move 7 man blocking sleds into foul territory before games started, leaving huge ruts in the outfield; also the location for hammer and shot put by the way. You really test your mettle as a center fielder shagging fly balls while dodging hammer throws from the throwers.

Meanwhile, St Olaf has had some of the best facilities in the MIAC for some time. The gigantic fieldhouse with a 2nd deck, the $10 million ice arena, and the separate football training facilities. Yet, they are the ringleader of this mess. Letís not forget they had a football program rolling up huge scores on teams in the last decade, while building a recruiting pipeline from Dade and Broward counties, leading to skepticism from the rest of the conference. Note, this was all under President Andersonís watch by the way. The other schools didnít decide to cut and run. 

13
If  I am someone like Killian, I would not be happy either. My football program has become the laughing stock across media channels. That has to hurt recruiting. March - May is the big decision making window for a lot of DIII kids too. This is all coming on the heals of St Olaf building a little momentum in football as well. The St Olaf President is handling this about as well as his last two PR disaster's: the fake racism incident and the Baseball team hazing.

14
I have enjoyed this board lumping Bethel into the top three athletic schools because they have good football. I would say Gustavus is overall much stronger athletically. Regardless, grouping Bethel with the Tommies and the Johnnies is laughable.

Itís no secret that this is about football, and Bethel has done quite well, despite greater handicaps than the coalition. If it wasnít about football, the coalition was sleeping at the wheel in the early 2000ís when UST won national titles in softball, baseball, hockey, and womenís basketball. That would have been the time to push the issue. The only thing that changed in that time is UST footballís rise and the coalitionís complete ineptitude to field a football team. Concordia was 5th in the conference last year and beat the bottom 4 teams 181-31. That is gross incompetence fueled by those schools administrators over the last decade.

Thankfully, to date, those administrators appear to be just as incompetent in winning the PR and political game in trying to shoehorn this thing through.

15
Art - the revenue sharing idea sounds good in theory. The B1G practices that model with bowl game proceeds and other revenue streams. However, the MIAC is not the B1G.

Letís say SJU hosts Tommie Johnnie and they get a gate of 18,000. Weíll ignore the fact a number of those are students that are paying little to nothing to attend. Weíll say they make $20 a ticket for the sake of simplicity. So SJU grosses $360,000 on attendance. Add another $100k for concessions and you are up to $460,000. Cut that in half to account for expenses. Splitting $230k amongst the 9 football members not named St Johns nets each school a whopping $26,000! If Carleton College is hard up for a $26k check when itís endowment is pushing towards $1 BILLION something is wrong. Revenue sharing wonít solve anything, even for the ďpoorerĒ schools in the conference, primarily because their is so little revenue to share, as evidenced from the conferences largest event tabulated above.

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