Macalester President Brian Rosenberg, who is retiring at the end of this academic year, had some interesting comments about the ongoing story of St. Thomas’ removal from the MIAC.
In a recent interview with Mac Weekly — a student-run publication at Macalester — Rosenberg challenged as “inaccurate” some of the reporting on why St. Thomas was removed from the conference and disputed that it was “involuntary” even though the MIAC used that exact language in announcing the decision in May.
“A lot of the reporting has been inaccurate,” Rosenberg told the publication. “But that’s reasonable when you can’t say anything. That’s the consequence of confidentiality — that people are going to make their own determinations about what they think happened.”
You can read the entire article here. (Photo above by the Star Tribune’s Mark Vancleave).
Rosenberg added: “The whole narrative of St. Thomas being involuntarily removed from the MIAC is not accurate.”
That would be news to the MIAC, which said this in the May 22 news release announcing the St. Thomas decision: 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.
Rosenberg also established a timeline for the decision, saying St. Thomas’ removal had been discussed “for about a year” before it happened.
St. Thomas has since announced its intentions to attempt to transition to Division I from Division III on an accelerated two-year timeline after membership in the MIAC is over.
“The implication in a lot of these articles is that St. Thomas is having the last laugh because they’ve been invited to join Division I,” Rosenberg said, adding: “From my perspective, being invited to join Division I is a pain in the neck. You have to spend a lot more money on athletics, you have to spend more money on scholarships, you have to invest more money in your athletic facilities, and it shifts the priorities of the institution in a way I would never want to shift Macalester.”
It’s almost as if Macalester and St. Thomas have different priorities! Macalester competes in the MIAC in all sports except football, with that program having left the conference in 2001 and competing as an independent before joining the Midwest Conference in 2014.