Division I Council proposes pathway for D-III schools to become D-I member
The elephant in the room is St. Thomas (MN).
St. Thomas currently sits with an invitation from the Summit League to join the conference. What remains to be seen is what programs the Tommies will bring with them to D-I.
Currently, St. Thomas offers 10 men's and 10 women's sports. But no scholarships.
The Summit League and the Tommies currently match up in baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and track & field on the men's side. On the women's side it's basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.
Really, that only leaves football and hockey (M/W) without a conference. It's very good fit when you consider five Summit League schools play football are affiliates in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
That leaves the question: Where do the Tommies place their hockey programs?
If the WCHA remains as a women's hockey conference, UST seems like a natural landing spot for the women's team.
But is St. Thomas the 8th school the new CCHA are waiting for? Or is it a bigger domino -- where the NCHC (and the four Summit schools) grab the Tommies at the expense of... say, Miami (OF OHIO)? That would move the Redhawks to the CCHA.
Is this part of a much larger conference realignment?
I want to know what you think, America... er... Omaha. Phone lines are open.
I guess that depends if Miami wants out, and, does the NCHC waive the $1MM ‘can we go away now’ penalty. In this case, I think they do in a Smokey Backroom Deal Shorter road trips all around, the excitement of a new team, and the exorcism of the memories of ‘he that shall go unnamed’...
I think it's been the worst-kept secret that Miami wants out. But you're correct in identifying the financial ramifications. With St. Thomas potentially on the table, the reasons to hold on to the Redhawks diminish.
I look at it ideally in terms of football/basketball conference affiliations.
If St. Thomas is granted their pathway to D-1 and join the Summit -- it makes sense for the hockey-playing Summit schools to take on the Tommies. Let's not forget, one of the reasons cited by Trev for dropping football and wrestling was to prevent spreading the athletic department across multiple conferences.
While Alberts does not speak for other schools, it is reasonable to suggest other schools think in a similar manner. Representation in more conferences means more meetings, more travel, maybe even more personnel, and that means more expenses (and league fees).
CCHA is making sounds about interest. I do believe that the Tommies would be something interesting and new, and, the affiliation angle makes a lot f sense. I am hoping we have hockey in October, even if the STH have to split games. Better yet, give the arena to the STH and seat us stadium style, first come first serve, new seats every night! Kidding of course, but desperate as well!
St. Thomas is an interesting case.
geographically it makes perfect sense for the NCHC to go after them.
However they don't fit the mold of the other nchc teams of having the hockey program being the flagship sport.
I could possibly see adding them plus mankato to make an even 10 teams.
I don't really see miami going anywhere. I know the rumors are they are not happy, but from what I've read they were hoping WMU would go with them and that ain't gonna happen.
plus I don't think Miami wants to fork over a ton of cash (the penalty for leaving the conference are pretty severe)
one of the conspiracy rumors out there is that the big10 covets UND and would add them as an affiliate member (I don't see any possibility of that but that rumor is out there)
if I were Josh Fenton I would not add any teams at all. the NCHC is far and above the best hockey conference out there why water it down?