The April membership vote was delayed by COVID-19 but the NCAA 40-man committee reconvenes this week to determine if St Thomas University can make the unorthodox jump from DIII to DI and the Summit League. The Tommies certainly have the capability to make the move after being rejected by their old conference, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, for being ‘too good’.
With the Summit League membership at nine schools following the recent rejection of Augustana University for conference membership and the departure of Fort Wayne, the Summit League is desperately in need of a tenth team for balanced scheduling. St. Thomas fits the bill both from a geographical point of view, overall financial strength, and athletics performance.
The addition of St. Thomas would add stability for the Summit League in baseball and men’s soccer where the conference would now have six teams each in baseball and men’s soccer with the planned departure of Fort Wayne to the Horizon League. Men’s soccer will continue to rely on Eastern Illinois, as an affiliate member, to achieve six men’s teams.
The NCAA hearing and associated vote are scheduled either tomorrow and/or Wednesday.