BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- After extensive membership discussions, the University of St. Thomas will be involuntarily removed from membership in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). 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.
St. Thomas is one of seven founding members of the MIAC and will leave the conference in good standing with a long and appreciated history of academic and athletic success.
"We have had to navigate some challenging conversations with respect to membership over the last several years. After extensive discussions, the Presidents' Council determined that there was no path forward that preserved the MIAC in its current form. For that reason, we have come to this agreement. Throughout this process, our goal has been to preserve the MIAC as a well-respected Division III athletic conference for the sake of our more than 7,000 student-athletes. Supporting the experiences and well-being of those student-athletes will continue to be our primary focus moving forward."
-Rebecca Bergman, currently serving as Chair of MIAC Presidents' Council (President, Gustavus Adolphus College)
"Like every other collegiate athletic conference, we consistently evaluate membership. We have been fortunate to avoid membership changes for 35 years, which really is extraordinary. The attention and passion displayed over the past several months demonstrate how much this conference means to so many people."
-Dan McKane, MIAC Commissioner
- The MIAC is a NCAA Division III conference with 13 members (private institutions located in Minnesota), sponsoring 22 sports.
- Membership of the conference is determined by the MIAC Presidents' Council, comprised of each President of member institutions.
- While no formal vote was held, all 13 MIAC presidents agreed to a transition that will end St. Thomas' membership in the conference by the spring of 2021.
- The MIAC has the fourth-longest active streak of unchanged membership in NCAA. Changes in membership for collegiate athletic conferences have become increasingly common in recent years.
- Longest unchanged conferences: 1) Ivy League (D1 FCS) 1954, 2) MASCAC (DIII) 1982, 3) NESCAC (DIII) 1982, 4) MIAC (DIII) 1985
- The MIAC has seen numerous changes in membership, both large and small, throughout its 99-year history, with only one school, Saint John's University, remaining a full member since the inception of the league in 1920.
- The addition of the College of Saint Benedict in 1985 was the last time membership changed in the MIAC.
- The last full member to leave the MIAC was the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1975. UMD was admitted into the MIAC in 1949.
- The University of St. Thomas, a founding member in 1920, withdrew from MIAC membership on March 21, 1925 before being readmitted on December 23, 1927. St. Thomas began as an all-male college and converted to a co-educational institution in 1977.
- The MIAC was formed on March 15, 1920.
- The MIAC is the 12th oldest conference in the NCAA (all divisions).
- Oldest NCAA conferences: 1) MIAA (DIII) 1888, 2) Big Ten (D1 FBS) 1896, 3) OAC (DIII) 1902, 4) Missouri Valley (DI FCS) 1907, 5) RMAC (DII) 1909, T6) CIAA (DII) 1912, T6) Mid-America IAC (DII) 1912, T6) SIAC (DII) 1912, T6) MAC (DIII) 1912, 10) WIAC (DIII) 1913, 11) SCIAC (DIII) 1915, T12) MIAC (DIII) 1920, T12) SWAC (D1 FCS) 1920.
- The 2019-20 academic year marks the MIAC's 100th Anniversary.
- The University of St. Thomas has won 12 straight men's and women's MIAC All-Sports Awards (2008-2019).
- The University of St. Thomas won 47% (155) of all MIAC Championships (both team and individual sports) awarded from 2003-2018. Over the last five years (2013-18), UST won 62 MIAC Championships (56%).
- The University of St. Thomas earned 32% (67 of 210) of the MIAC's Automatic Qualifiers to the NCAA Postseason (playoff champion, plus football regular season champion) from 2003-2018. UST earned 25 AQs (36%) in the last five years (2013-18).