Skip to main content

University of St. Thomas kicked out of the MIAC

They can remain in the MIAC through the end of the 2021 spring sports season.

The University of St. Thomas has been voted out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), and will need to find a new home in time for the 2021 fall sports season. 

"After extensive membership discussions, the University of St. Thomas will be involuntarily removed from membership in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)," a release from the conference says

"The MIAC Presidents' Council cites athletic competitive parity in the conference as a primary concern. St. Thomas will begin a multi-year transition immediately and meanwhile is eligible to compete as a full member of the MIAC through the end of spring 2021."

The release goes on to say St. Thomas "will leave the conference in good standing." 

"While this decision is extremely disappointing, we will continue to prioritize the welfare and overall experience of our student-athletes," said UST President Julie H. Sullivan in a statement. "They embrace and represent both academic and athletic excellence and are important contributors to our university’s culture. Additionally, our coaches share the values of advancing comprehensive excellence and are among the best in the country."

A search for a new conference home is already in progress. 

The Star Tribune reported in April that presidents from the 13-school conference were gathering to discuss the possible ouster of the Tommies, with the newspaper's latest report suggesting that nine of the 13 presidents were in favor of removing them from the MIAC. 

"The college presidents who favored removing the Tommies from the conference apparently had those nine votes secured this week, with only St. Thomas, St. John’s, St. Benedict and possibly Bethel said to be against this move."

One reason St. Thomas could have a competitive advantage over the other 12 schools is because of its size.

UST has nearly double or triple the number of undergraduates enrolled than any other MIAC school. Here are the latest (2017) undergraduate students enrolled for all 13 schools, according to Minnesota Private Colleges

  1. University of St. Thomas - 6,199
  2. St. Catherine University - 3,158
  3. St. Olaf College - 3,035
  4. Bethel University - 2,930
  5. Concordia College - 2,841
  6. Augsburg University - 2,451
  7. Gustavus Adolphus College - 2,206
  8. Hamline University - 2,168
  9. Macalester College - 2,136
  10. Carleton College - 2,023
  11. College of St. Benedict - 1,937
  12. Saint John's University - 1,720
  13. Saint Mary's University - 1,503

In April, UST Vice President and Director of Athletics Phil Esten emailed Bring Me The News saying they do not want to leave, nor be forced out of the MIAC. 

“As a founding member of the conference, we are proud of our history and heritage in the MIAC, and are committed to the league values and DIII ideals," Esten wrote. "We are very interested in doing what we can to stabilize conference membership now and into the future."

The MIAC started in 1920 with founding members Carleton, Gustavus, Hamline, Macalester, Saint John's, St. Olaf and St. Thomas. 

Follow Bring Me The Sports on Facebook

Next Up


Minneapolis wants to use $1M in federal cash to plant 200,000 trees

The goal is to have these trees planted by the year 2040.

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 12.54.22 PM

MOA theater to debut wrap-around, 270-degree movie screen

The new technology will expand the movie screen onto the side walls of the theater auditorium.

Trevor Scott May

Driver ejected in fatal Roseville crash identified as 30-year-old

The crash temporarily shutdown westbound Highway 36.

Kim Crockett

Endorsed candidate's campaign video used antisemitic trope at MN GOP convention

The video aired before GOP-backed secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett's speech at the state party convention.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, May 18

More than 2,000 new cases in today's report.

Thomas Lane

Ex-cop Thomas Lane pleads guilty to manslaughter in George Floyd killing

The former Minneapolis police officer appeared in court on Wednesday morning.

14 W Main St, Anoka, MN 55303, United States - September 2021

2 dead after driver flees cop in Coon Rapids, crashes in Anoka

The double-fatal crash happened on Main Street near Ferry Street in Anoka.

Adam Hunter Pattishall.

Fleeing suspect charged in crash that left husband dead, wife critical

Daniel Joseph Fisher, 57, died from multiple blunt force injuries in a crash Sunday. His wife, Cathleen, is in critical condition as of Tuesday.

storm, severe weather

Threat of severe weather returns to Minnesota for 2 days

Isolated severe storms Wednesday, followed by scattered severe storms Thursday.


National media weighs in on MIAC giving St. Thomas the boot

The likes of Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon and Scott Van Pelt did not hold back.

Tommies Soccer

University of St. Thomas invited to join D1 Summit League

The Summit League doesn't have football, so it's unclear what the Tommies would do on the gridiron.

University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas gets approval to make leap to D1 athletics

The Tommies will compete in the MIAC for one more year.

Final Tommie-Johnnie game to be played at US Bank Stadium

The end of the 119-year rivalry is coming to an end.

Tommies Soccer

St. Thomas could learn its D1 fate this week from NCAA

The Tommies are looking to forgo a 12-year process to jump from D-III.

MIAC football

MIAC postpones all sports competitions until January 2021

The decision is due to "increased health and safety risks."

P.J. Fleck

Will St. Thomas' jump to D1 have any impact on the Gophers?

Will it change the recruiting situations at all?