Author Topic: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas  (Read 6020 times)

Offline jknezek

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2019, 11:02:44 am »


In four of the five years, Hopkins's margin over the second-place Centennial team was larger than UST's margin over the second-place MIAC team, and in three of the five years, MIT's margin over the second-place NEWMAC team was larger than UST's margin.  Yet I hear nothing about throwing Hopkins out of the Centennial or MIT out of the NEWMAC.

Probably because these schools haven't done things that have pissed off their conference group. The Centennial knew what it was getting when it admitted JHU. JHU is basically what JHU was in 1981. Same with MIT. These schools, while drastically different from their conference peers, are what they've been for a long time. UST, arguably, is not what it was and is trying to be even more different still. Now not all those changes have happened recently, the school reached mostly it's current enrollment 15 years ago. But the addition of various graduate schools, the possible addition of more, the linking with 2 year colleges, the drive to be a regional university, is not what UST was 25 years ago. They are different. Some of their conference peers have some of those components, but there is no arguing who the outlier is in that conference.

Something about UST rubbed some of their "peers" drastically wrong. UST either didn't recognize it or didn't care to fix it. It festered until enough momentum came about to throw out an ultimatum. Most of the rest of the conference decided saving UST wasn't worth the risk of more members leaving. So basically, UST was the unpopular kid at the party. The really unpopular kid with some, and the less popular than the other option with most.

While forcing the ultimatum is definitely the responsibility of those who wanted them out, the outcome demonstrates something went off kilter at UST as well. Either they didn't care how much they were pissing off their supposed peers, or they weren't smart enough to realize they had pushed to a breaking point. I'm not sure which one is worse, but you can't just ignore that if UST really wanted to stay in the MIAC, they blew it over years of building resentment. If they didn't, then they forced this issue in a very sloppy way. But either situation doesn't absolve UST completely.

Online Gregory Sager

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2019, 12:16:41 pm »
There are some leagues in which a single member comes close to the all-sports dominance that UST has had in the MIAC over the past 10-15 years in terms of men's side, women's side, and combined -- Wartburg in the ARC, Washington & Lee in the ODAC, and Johns Hopkins in the Centennial have all been mentioned on d3boards.com during this past week, as those schools win (real or imagined) all-sports trophies in their respective leagues on a regular basis. But UST beats them all for the sheer volume of conference titles won over that period.

While conference titles are one way of looking at this, another way is to look at points in the Learfield Directors' Cup standings.

Here are the top two schools in the Centennial, MIAC and NEWMAC over each of the last five years.

Centennial

2014-15: Hopkins 1016.75, Haverford 322.5
2015-16: Hopkins 703, Haverford 400.5
2016-17: Hopkins 864.5, F&M 350
2017-18: Hopkins 883.25, F&M 306.5
2018-19 (to date): Hopkins 804.25, Haverford 238

MIAC

2014-15: UST 628.5, St. Olaf 427.5
2015-16: UST 780, St. Olaf 447
2016-17: UST 588.5, GAC 339
2017-18: UST 650.25, GAC 384.5
2018-19 (to date): UST 596, Carleton 281

NEWMAC

2014-15: MIT 961, Springfield 420
2015-16: MIT 843, Springfield 383
2016-17: MIT 667.25, Babson 519.5
2017-18: MIT 1001.5, Springfield 525
2018-19 (to date): MIT 573.25, Springfield 282.5

In four of the five years, Hopkins's margin over the second-place Centennial team was larger than UST's margin over the second-place MIAC team, and in three of the five years, MIT's margin over the second-place NEWMAC team was larger than UST's margin.  Yet I hear nothing about throwing Hopkins out of the Centennial or MIT out of the NEWMAC.

I don't how many people inside or outside of the press are even aware of the Learfield Directors' Cup, though. In terms of competitive minutiae, perhaps they ought to make their acquaintance with it; St. Thomas kind of sticks out like a sore thumb in terms of the types of schools that tend to land in the LDC top ten every year. But what I've seen in the press is the citation of UST's overwhelming dominance in the MIAC in terms of conference titles won; the Tommies won 47% (155) of all MIAC championships (both team and individual sports) awarded from 2003-2018. And over the past five years (2013-18), UST has won 62 MIAC championships, which is 56% of the overall conference total. That easily outstrips the championships rate for MIT in the NEWMAC, Johns Hopkins in the Centennial, Wartburg in the ARC, or Washington & Lee in the ODAC.

Of course, the reason why I've seen those championships facts mentioned in the press is that the MIAC has posted them on its website. One could argue that that's the conference's way of being helpful by providing background information behind the decision to oust the Tommies. One could also argue that it's a cleverly passive way of applying spin to the narrative. ;)

Probably because these schools haven't done things that have pissed off their conference group. The Centennial knew what it was getting when it admitted JHU. JHU is basically what JHU was in 1981. Same with MIT. These schools, while drastically different from their conference peers, are what they've been for a long time. UST, arguably, is not what it was and is trying to be even more different still. Now not all those changes have happened recently, the school reached mostly it's current enrollment 15 years ago. But the addition of various graduate schools, the possible addition of more, the linking with 2 year colleges, the drive to be a regional university, is not what UST was 25 years ago. They are different. Some of their conference peers have some of those components, but there is no arguing who the outlier is in that conference.

Something about UST rubbed some of their "peers" drastically wrong. UST either didn't recognize it or didn't care to fix it. It festered until enough momentum came about to throw out an ultimatum. Most of the rest of the conference decided saving UST wasn't worth the risk of more members leaving. So basically, UST was the unpopular kid at the party. The really unpopular kid with some, and the less popular than the other option with most.

While forcing the ultimatum is definitely the responsibility of those who wanted them out, the outcome demonstrates something went off kilter at UST as well. Either they didn't care how much they were pissing off their supposed peers, or they weren't smart enough to realize they had pushed to a breaking point. I'm not sure which one is worse, but you can't just ignore that if UST really wanted to stay in the MIAC, they blew it over years of building resentment. If they didn't, then they forced this issue in a very sloppy way. But either situation doesn't absolve UST completely.

Agree with all of this, and I'd add that Johns Hopkins and MIT brought value to their respective conferences in terms of their academic cachet. Not that the other schools of the Centennial and the NEWMAC aren't highly regarded in their own right, but being members of the ultra-exclusive Association of American Universities (in the case of Johns Hopkins, a founding member) puts JHU and MIT on a different strata entirely, although NEWMAC member Clark used to be an AAU member as well. Their presence enhances the rest of the members of those two leagues by a sort of reflective prestige that adds to the prestige that Centennial and NEWMAC schools already carry in and of themselves. It's the same sort of phenomenon that's helped keep Caltech in the SCIAC for 80 years, in spite of the fact that the Beavers have been total athletic deadweight in that league for all or most of that time.

UST doesn't bring that sort of academic luster to the table in the MIAC -- in fact, the consensus of observers seems to be that the presidents of the more academically elite MIAC members are the ringleaders behind Tomtoss.
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Offline jamtod

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2019, 01:07:27 pm »

UST doesn't bring that sort of academic luster to the table in the MIAC -- in fact, the consensus of observers seems to be that the presidents of the more academically elite MIAC members are the ringleaders behind Tomtoss.

This has more to do with the possibility that those schools could have a landing spot in the MWC than it does with UST not measuring up academically. UST by all accounts is right behind that top tier in terms of academics. Not elite, but not a slouch either.

Offline Hopkins92

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2019, 01:58:47 pm »
Yeah, I think the academics are being blown out of proportion a bit. If you look at USN rankings, they come in ahead of a bunch of pretty decent Unis. To me the most obvious issue was outlined quite well by jknezek. They've pretty dramatically altered course over the last 2 decades and by the accounts I've read, they did very little to politic within the conference to soften the blow of their aspirations to become a larger footprint school.

I mean, when you are beating an in-conference opponent 97-0, you are putting a target on your back.

Online Gregory Sager

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2019, 05:14:36 pm »

UST doesn't bring that sort of academic luster to the table in the MIAC -- in fact, the consensus of observers seems to be that the presidents of the more academically elite MIAC members are the ringleaders behind Tomtoss.

This has more to do with the possibility that those schools could have a landing spot in the MWC than it does with UST not measuring up academically. UST by all accounts is right behind that top tier in terms of academics. Not elite, but not a slouch either.

I didn't say that Tomtoss had anything to do with UST not measuring up academically to the rest of the MIAC. I've haven't seen a post, column, blog entry, tweet, what have you, by anyone that has made that argument. What I said was that UST:MIAC =/= JHU:Cent or MIT:NEWMAC in terms of relative academic status. And that's a different thing altogether.

Yeah, I think the academics are being blown out of proportion a bit.

Again, I don't think that you've caught the drift of my post. I didn't say that there was anything wrong with UST's academic status. There clearly isn't. What I said was that UST does not bring the sort of heightened academic cachet to the MIAC that other athletically-dominant schools bring to their respective leagues, namely Johns Hopkins to the Centennial and MIT to the NEWMAC. That's all.
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Offline jamtod

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2019, 05:16:50 pm »

UST doesn't bring that sort of academic luster to the table in the MIAC -- in fact, the consensus of observers seems to be that the presidents of the more academically elite MIAC members are the ringleaders behind Tomtoss.

This has more to do with the possibility that those schools could have a landing spot in the MWC than it does with UST not measuring up academically. UST by all accounts is right behind that top tier in terms of academics. Not elite, but not a slouch either.

I didn't say that Tomtoss had anything to do with UST not measuring up academically to the rest of the MIAC. I've haven't seen a post, column, blog entry, tweet, what have you, by anyone that has made that argument. What I said was that UST:MIAC =/= JHU:Cent or MIT:NEWMAC in terms of relative academic status. And that's a different thing altogether.

Agreed then, I may have read something into your post (I didn't go back and look at the full context just now) that wasn't there, but I've seen plenty of posts (not necessarily here, but a few on other football-related forums I used to frequent) and tweets suggesting that very argument, so I may be a bit sensitive to it.

Offline Buck O.

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2019, 11:20:01 pm »
I don't how many people inside or outside of the press are even aware of the Learfield Directors' Cup, though.

Just to be clear, I don't think that many people are familiar with it, either.  I just used it as an easily available proxy for how successful a school's athletic teams have been.

Offline Dubuquer

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2019, 02:01:12 pm »
I'm a little late to the discussion here but I think that if the MIAC had not kicked STU out, the MIAC might have gone through some other changes in the near future.  Word on the street is that several MIAC schools have been looking to leave for a few years (I wasn't aware of why until this story came out) and were in discussions with other conferences.  I think that now that STU has been booted the MIAC is likely to stay together.  Ultimately I think that's good for most student-athletes.

On the Learfield Cup even with a very sub-par performance from the Loras men in soccer in the fall, the Duhawks still finished 14th overall, just a few spots behind STU.  I would love to see a chart comparing the endowments, enrollments and Learfield rankings.  I have a feeling Loras would be a huge outlier.  Wartburg, too, maybe.

Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2019, 03:50:40 pm »
[...]
On the Learfield Cup even with a very sub-par performance from the Loras men in soccer in the fall, the Duhawks still finished 14th overall, just a few spots behind STU.  I would love to see a chart comparing the endowments, enrollments and Learfield rankings.  I have a feeling Loras would be a huge outlier.  Wartburg, too, maybe.

With an endowment in the range of $40M (per NACUBO), I'd venture to say you are correct.  Here are the top 20 schools and endowments:

Williams - $2.75B
Johns Hopkins - $4.33B
WUSTL - $7.59B
Middlebury - $1.12B
Emory - $7.29B
MIT - $16.5B
Tufts - $1.85B
Amherst - $2.38B
UChicago - $7.93B
UWEC - $73.3M
StThomas (MN) - $519M
CMS -$ 835M
UWLaX - no separate endowment found
Wesleyan (CT) - $990M
UW-W - no separate endowment found
Loras - $39.1M
W&L - $1.60B
Bowdoin - $1.63B
Ithaca - $316M
SUNY-Geneseo - no separate endowment found

The only school that's close is UW-Eau Claire, but of course they have the resources of the state to draw on in addition to their own endowment.

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2019, 10:49:20 pm »
I'm a little late to the discussion here but I think that if the MIAC had not kicked STU out, the MIAC might have gone through some other changes in the near future.  Word on the street is that several MIAC schools have been looking to leave for a few years (I wasn't aware of why until this story came out) and were in discussions with other conferences.  I think that now that STU has been booted the MIAC is likely to stay together.  Ultimately I think that's good for most student-athletes.

On the Learfield Cup even with a very sub-par performance from the Loras men in soccer in the fall, the Duhawks still finished 14th overall, just a few spots behind STU.  I would love to see a chart comparing the endowments, enrollments and Learfield rankings.  I have a feeling Loras would be a huge outlier.  Wartburg, too, maybe.

Those schools who were thinking about leaving should have left instead.

First off, they used that threat to get others to capitulate to kick out UST. They made it seem like the MIAC was on the verge of a full split and it would cause problems ... I find that completely overblown.

Secondly, leaving to another conference (the MWC) would have been a far classier thing to do AND it would have maybe put them in better circumstances. If these schools think that because UST will be gone in a few years that suddenly THEY become more competitive ... I've got a bridge in New York I would LOVE to sell them.
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Online Gregory Sager

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2019, 11:34:42 pm »
I'm a little late to the discussion here but I think that if the MIAC had not kicked STU out, the MIAC might have gone through some other changes in the near future.  Word on the street is that several MIAC schools have been looking to leave for a few years (I wasn't aware of why until this story came out) and were in discussions with other conferences.  I think that now that STU has been booted the MIAC is likely to stay together.  Ultimately I think that's good for most student-athletes.

On the Learfield Cup even with a very sub-par performance from the Loras men in soccer in the fall, the Duhawks still finished 14th overall, just a few spots behind STU.  I would love to see a chart comparing the endowments, enrollments and Learfield rankings.  I have a feeling Loras would be a huge outlier.  Wartburg, too, maybe.

Those schools who were thinking about leaving should have left instead.

First off, they used that threat to get others to capitulate to kick out UST. They made it seem like the MIAC was on the verge of a full split and it would cause problems ... I find that completely overblown.

Secondly, leaving to another conference (the MWC) would have been a far classier thing to do AND it would have maybe put them in better circumstances.

Disagree completely. Not about the "far classier" thing -- I'm not making judgment calls either way on Tomtoss, as I see it as a "not my circus, not my monkeys" issue -- but about the "better circumstances" thing. Travel for St. Olaf, Macalester, and Carleton would be completely ridiculous if they joined the MWC. I charted it all out on the MIAC football board, and it turns out that distances would be so great between the three Minnesota schools and their new conference peers that it would necessitate overnight hotel stays on multiple occasions in multiple sports -- which not only means ramped-up budgets for travel, it more importantly means a self-sabotage of the principle of local competition (more time spent on campus = better focus on academics) that was driving the whole D4 movement of which MWC schools were important supporters a decade ago. Lengthy road trips that take student-athletes far, far off campus while school is in session, especially when they involve overnights, subvert the very idea of being a D3 school that makes a big deal out of its academically elite status. And it's not as though a swollen MWC could imitate the UAA with its flights-and-proctors system; the eight-school UAA, with its tidy travel-partner pairings and its urban locations within relatively close proximity to major airports, is a very different beast altogether than the MWC-plus-the-Minnesota-Three would be.

Besides, I haven't read or heard of any noise coming out of the MWC that the Minnesota Three would even be welcome to join the league. (Macalester's status as an associate MWC member for football isn't really germane to this.) Perhaps you've heard differently through your sources, Dave, but I suspect that the MWC schools are just as aware of the potential headaches as the Minnesota Three schools are.
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Offline Dubuquer

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2019, 11:58:09 am »
I don't believe the MWC was the only conference being considered.  Another Regional Conference may have been a possibility for some of the southern MIAC schools.

Online Gregory Sager

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2019, 12:54:41 pm »
Yes, yours.  ;)

But the ARC would bring a similar set of travel headaches, albeit not as bad as the MWC would offer, without providing the academic cachet of the MWC in exchange.
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Offline jamtod

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2019, 04:53:28 pm »
Lengthy road trips that take student-athletes far, far off campus while school is in session, especially when they involve overnights, subvert the very idea of being a D3 school that makes a big deal out of its academically elite status.

I agree that this is a very true statement and it's what makes the thing so ironic, as these schools forced St Thomas out of the geographic conference that they consider to be such an important priority, for the sake of competitive parity. It's really kind of funny.

Offline Ommadawn

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Re: MIAC to vote to oust St. Thomas
« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2019, 04:13:58 pm »