Would MVFC Take a DIII School?

MadBird

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I've been waiting a while to throw this topic out there, didn't really want to do it in the middle of the season, especially before the Bizon game, but will toss it out there now while it's still "topical".

For context, some of you may know that the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota, "involuntarily" left the DIII Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this summer, effective at the end of the 2021 school year. UST has been dominant in many sports, its enrollment is twice as large as the next largest school, and has won the overall conference championship many times (all sports combined). The football program has become very strong, competed for but never won a national championship, and the current coach who's led the resurgence has been known to do some "unsportsmanlike" things like trick plays and 2 point conversions and onside kicks even when winning by 30-40-50 points (this is the argument that is made, not necessarily my thoughts). Some of the presidents got tired of it, felt like UST had outgrown the DIII liberal arts conference, and was prepared to vote them out. Altho a vote was never taken apparently, UST pulled out.

Soooooo . . . . .
The question becomes, what next for UST? Stay DIII and find another conference (not easy, there really isn't a good home for them)? Go DII and join the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, which is largely a Minnesota/Dakota based conference? Or go DI? Now the NCAA regs say you can't go directly from DIII to DI - you have to "prove" you can move up and give schollies by staying in DII for a few years, then petition to move to DI. UST is seeking a waiver to go directly from DIII to DI, in part apparently because of being tossed out of their conference. The Summit League has invited them to join if they get the waiver. But they still need a home for their hockey and football programs, since the Summit doesn't offer them.

Which brings us to the MVFC - the media, and fans, are saying a reasonable destination for their football is the MVFC. Several articles have been written in the Twin Cities papers saying that is on the table. On the d3football.com discussion board, which I engage on, many folks have said they could join and become competitive very quickly. I have said I don't think the MVFC would be interested in adding an "unproven" school, in Minnesota, blah blah blah. Some have argued that the Dakota schools in particular would welcome UST since they recruit Minnesota and the Twin Cities so much. I'm not so sure they would want to give UST the exposure, etc.

What do folks think, would the MVFC take in University of St. Thomas, a private religious school with about 6000+ undergrads and 3000+ grad students, without a suitable DI stadium but a pretty large endowment and presence in the Twin Cities?

Here's a pretty decent article from a week or so ago, hopefully you can access it at least once before the paywall kicks in.

http://www.startribune.com/universi...tion-to-summit-league/562174952/?refresh=true
 

ChiRedbirdfan

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MadBird said:
I've been waiting a while to throw this topic out there, didn't really want to do it in the middle of the season, especially before the Bizon game, but will toss it out there now while it's still "topical".

For context, some of you may know that the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota, "involuntarily" left the DIII Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this summer, effective at the end of the 2021 school year. UST has been dominant in many sports, its enrollment is twice as large as the next largest school, and has won the overall conference championship many times (all sports combined). The football program has become very strong, competed for but never won a national championship, and the current coach who's led the resurgence has been known to do some "unsportsmanlike" things like trick plays and 2 point conversions and onside kicks even when winning by 30-40-50 points (this is the argument that is made, not necessarily my thoughts). Some of the presidents got tired of it, felt like UST had outgrown the DIII liberal arts conference, and was prepared to vote them out. Altho a vote was never taken apparently, UST pulled out.

Soooooo . . . . .
The question becomes, what next for UST? Stay DIII and find another conference (not easy, there really isn't a good home for them)? Go DII and join the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, which is largely a Minnesota/Dakota based conference? Or go DI? Now the NCAA regs say you can't go directly from DIII to DI - you have to "prove" you can move up and give schollies by staying in DII for a few years, then petition to move to DI. UST is seeking a waiver to go directly from DIII to DI, in part apparently because of being tossed out of their conference. The Summit League has invited them to join if they get the waiver. But they still need a home for their hockey and football programs, since the Summit doesn't offer them.

Which brings us to the MVFC - the media, and fans, are saying a reasonable destination for their football is the MVFC. Several articles have been written in the Twin Cities papers saying that is on the table. On the d3football.com discussion board, which I engage on, many folks have said they could join and become competitive very quickly. I have said I don't think the MVFC would be interested in adding an "unproven" school, in Minnesota, blah blah blah. Some have argued that the Dakota schools in particular would welcome UST since they recruit Minnesota and the Twin Cities so much. I'm not so sure they would want to give UST the exposure, etc.

What do folks think, would the MVFC take in University of St. Thomas, a private religious school with about 6000+ undergrads and 3000+ grad students, without a suitable DI stadium but a pretty large endowment and presence in the Twin Cities?

Here's a pretty decent article from a week or so ago, hopefully you can access it at least once before the paywall kicks in.

http://www.startribune.com/universi...tion-to-summit-league/562174952/?refresh=true
St Thomas is a very respected university.. My initial reaction is that St Thomas would be a much much better addition to the MVFC than an EIU or Murray State and would be a much better conference mate than current member WIU. That is factoring in conference exposure, university reputation/image, fan interest, financial condition of member university, ability long term for MVFC to bring in $$s..etc

As for how this impacts ISU, wow is ISU's conference situation an absolute mess, IMO. ISU needs to get their main revenue teams in the same conference for many reasons. When factoring in the long term fall of the MVC and also see where the MVFC is headed ISU needs to be looking at all alternatives asap as it could take a lot of negotiation/time (years and years and years) to implement any desired plan of action.

To directly answer your question Mad, i believe adding St Thomas would be a good addition to the MVFC. Beyond that they would also be a good long term addition to the MVC too.
 

cpacmel

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I don’t think the mvfc or gateway has ever had a private institution. For that reason alone I don’t see that happening.
 

ST_Lawson

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UST football is going to be in the Pioneer League (Drake, Butler, Valpo, etc) for the foreseeable future after they make the switch to DI.


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MadBird

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ST_Lawson said:
UST football is going to be in the Pioneer League (Drake, Butler, Valpo, etc) for the foreseeable future after they make the switch to DI.


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I think that is a much better fit, at least in the short run. IF they get the NCAA to go along with their plans.
 

ST_Lawson

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MadBird said:
ST_Lawson said:
UST football is going to be in the Pioneer League (Drake, Butler, Valpo, etc) for the foreseeable future after they make the switch to DI.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I think that is a much better fit, at least in the short run. IF they get the NCAA to go along with their plans.
I think the waiver is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point. They wouldn't have announced it if they didn't think they were going to get it.


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TIMMY

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The Tommies average about 2500 home attendance on years they don't host St. John's, 7500 on years they do. They have very few, if any current athletes who could play at our level. So it would be 5+ years before they could even think about being competitive in football. It would be a nice story, but I don't think it will never happen. I see them going Pioneer League as well.
It's really shitty they've been bounced from their league for being too good.
 

ChiRedbirdfan

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cpacmel said:
I don’t think the mvfc or gateway has ever had a private institution. For that reason alone I don’t see that happening.
Do you think not having a private was intentional or just how it happened? Hard for me to find a reason as to why no private would be allowed. Nearly every major conference is made up of privates and publics. The MVFC is likely one of the few conferences that does not have a mix and I think it is more by accident than design.
 

StLRedbird

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ChiRedbirdfan said:
cpacmel said:
I don’t think the mvfc or gateway has ever had a private institution. For that reason alone I don’t see that happening.
Do you think not having a private was intentional or just how it happened? Hard for me to find a reason as to why no private would be allowed. Nearly every major conference is made up of privates and publics. The MVFC is likely one of the few conferences that does not have a mix and I think it is more by accident than design.
Agreed that it was probably not by design. MVFC needs a 12th team to split into two divisions

West
NDSU, SDSU, USD, UND, UNI, MOST

East
ISUR, ISUB, SIU, WIU, YSU, New Guys

I guess you could move MOST into the East and put the New Guys there if you opt for a Minnesota team. MVFC West lookin' a lot like the old NCC, right?

Edit: St. Thomas was a charter member of the NCC in 1921. What comes around...
 

Total Red

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ChiRedbirdfan said:
Do you think not having a private was intentional or just how it happened? Hard for me to find a reason as to why no private would be allowed. Nearly every major conference is made up of privates and publics. The MVFC is likely one of the few conferences that does not have a mix and I think it is more by accident than design.
Also agree :text-+1: . A private is doable in the MVFC. The St. Paul location is attractive in some respects but not in others. It would be great to add the Minny/St. Paul metro area to the Valley and Minnesota could use a FCS team. As Timmy says it would take time to ramp up but they would have a good recruiting base to start. But as I wrote in another thread we're already adding North Dakota. If we add another northern team we might be asked to change the name from the Missouri Valley to The Great White North conference. Youngstown St. might start exploring other options. That's why I was considering adding a team east of the Mississippi for better balance. Perhaps a Pioneer school wants to move up (Dayton, Butler)? Maybe an existing FCS wants a better football conference (Murray St., E. Kentucky)? Maybe a MAC team is ready to drop down (Ball St. NIU).

Some will say that Northern Ill has no intention of dropping down to FCS football. Well, they had no intention of facing declining enrollment either. And Madbird is correct to say that each of the state directionals has a strong constituency that will fight tooth and nail to see that their school is not further diminished or eliminated altogether. But as they say, reality bites. I'm not seeing the State of Illinois financial woes ending anytime soon and I still see it getting worse before it gets better. Things that were considered untouchable before will be touched and options that were never before considered will be enacted.
 

cpacmel

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Even though they are supposed to be separate entities, the MVC and MVFC are very much tied together. I’ve heard that was one of the most common rifts in the MVC is between the private schools (Evansville, Drake, Bradley, Valpo and Loyola) and the public schools (ISU, INSU, mo st, SIU and UNI).
 

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cpacmel said:
Even though they are supposed to be separate entities, the MVC and MVFC are very much tied together. I’ve heard that was one of the most common rifts in the MVC is between the private schools (Evansville, Drake, Bradley, Valpo and Loyola) and the public schools (ISU, INSU, mo st, SIU and UNI).
I recall the publics being nervous about another private being added when Loyola came on board but that has worked out well. Have there been other issues?
 

fourthandshort

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cpacmel said:
Even though they are supposed to be separate entities, the MVC and MVFC are very much tied together. I’ve heard that was one of the most common rifts in the MVC is between the private schools (Evansville, Drake, Bradley, Valpo and Loyola) and the public schools (ISU, INSU, mo st, SIU and UNI).
Hey Mel .. totally out of my league here, But what is rift over ... pregame prayers ???
 

StLRedbird

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Total Red said:
cpacmel said:
Even though they are supposed to be separate entities, the MVC and MVFC are very much tied together. I’ve heard that was one of the most common rifts in the MVC is between the private schools (Evansville, Drake, Bradley, Valpo and Loyola) and the public schools (ISU, INSU, mo st, SIU and UNI).
I recall the publics being nervous about another private being added when Loyola came on board but that has worked out well. Have there been other issues?
I think that the public-private tension in the Valley has always come primarily from the private schools. They believe that public schools have greater financial resources to dedicate to non-revenue sports and facilities. When was the last time that a private won the all-sports trophy?
 

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StLRedbird said:
I think that the public-private tension in the Valley has always come primarily from the private schools. They believe that public schools have greater financial resources to dedicate to non-revenue sports and facilities. When was the last time that a private won the all-sports trophy?
That's what I've always heard as well, and that if the balance swings too far towards public schools (which also happen to be all of the scholarship football-playing schools) in the conference that decisions will start being made that are only in the best interest of those schools. Other than Loyola, all of the public schools are also significantly larger (enrollment-wise) than any of the private schools.
 

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cpacmel said:
I don’t think the mvfc or gateway has ever had a private institution. For that reason alone I don’t see that happening.
The MVFC isn't very old but the Missouri Valley Conference has had private schools for football. Before the MVFC and before the Gateway Illinois State competed in the Missouri Valley Conference for football. Although not all Valley teams fielded a football team the Valley football and basketball conferences were one and the same at that time - not MVC and MVFC. Drake (a private) competed in MVC football from 1971 to 1985. If you go further back there were others. Illinois State began playing MVC football in 1981.
 

Total Red

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StLRedbird said:
I think that the public-private tension in the Valley has always come primarily from the private schools. They believe that public schools have greater financial resources to dedicate to non-revenue sports and facilities. When was the last time that a private won the all-sports trophy?
Lots of conferences have schools competing in various numbers of sports with publics generally fielding more than privates. No big deal. Loyola wanted to join the MVC and it has worked out well for them and for the conference. If a private wanted to join the MVFC it can be more of a commitment because a full-ride scholarship can cost more at those schools but there are private schools that come up with the funds for 85 scholarships for FBS football so it is clearly possible that a private school could decide to compete at the FCS level and fund 63 scholarships if they aren't doing it already.
 

StLRedbird

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Total Red said:
cpacmel said:
I don’t think the mvfc or gateway has ever had a private institution. For that reason alone I don’t see that happening.
The MVFC isn't very old but the Missouri Valley Conference has had a private schools for football. Before the MVFC and before the Gateway Illinois State competed in the Missouri Valley Conference for football. Although not all Valley teams fielded a football team the Valley football and basketball conferences were one and the same at that time - not MVC and MVFC. Drake (a private) competed in MVC football from 1971 to 1985. If you go further back there were others. Illinois State began playing MVC football in 1981.
Fair enough, but the conference was not one big, happy family when it sponsored football. It is easy to compare the Valley with the Big East in this regard. The private, largely no-football privates have different priorities than the public, largely football playing universities. The BE split over the matter. While the Valley has had schools with football aspirations trickle out in ones and twos over the years, the last being Tulsa.
 

Total Red

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StLRedbird said:
Fair enough, but the conference was not one big, happy family when it sponsored football. It is easy to compare the Valley with the Big East in this regard. The private, largely no-football privates have different priorities than the public, largely football playing universities. The BE split over the matter. While the Valley has had schools with football aspirations trickle out in ones and twos over the years, the last being Tulsa.
Our conference is already split MVC and MVFC. Any private joining the MVFC would be fully aware that they are joining publics and if they didn't want to join they wouldn't have to but that's not a good reason to exclude a private that does want to join.
 

StLRedbird

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ST_Lawson said:
StLRedbird said:
I think that the public-private tension in the Valley has always come primarily from the private schools. They believe that public schools have greater financial resources to dedicate to non-revenue sports and facilities. When was the last time that a private won the all-sports trophy?
That's what I've always heard as well, and that if the balance swings too far towards public schools (which also happen to be all of the scholarship football-playing schools) in the conference that decisions will start being made that are only in the best interest of those schools. Other than Loyola, all of the public schools are also significantly larger (enrollment-wise) than any of the private schools.
I think that the Valley's priorities and ISUs have diverged. We had an administration here for a time that understood the importance football can have and recognized the same opportunity that NIU has been exploiting - the weakness of the two B1G schools in the state. Our current leadership's stance toward football can be described as benign neglect, IMO.
 
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