When you read about University of St. Thomas athletics, it's often about the school dominating the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference or competing in a national competition. The baseball team is in the NCAA Division III World Series, the football team made the national semifinals and the men's basketball team won the Division III title in 2011. Those are just a few of the school's athletic triumphs.
Writing on the school's student media website earlier this month, St. Thomas student Nick McAndrews suggested that St. Thomas should challenge itself with a move to NCAA Division I.
McAndrews writes: "One of the greatest rivalries in sports, Duke vs. North Carolina basketball, gains national attention twice, and often three times, a year. The beauty of that rivalry, in my opinion, is the public vs. private school aspect that it offers. The two schools are divided by one mile of tobacco road, while the Tommies and Gophers are basically divided by a few miles of road construction."
St. Thomas athletic director Steve Fritz told McAndrews that such a move isn't likely to happen, and the school's Sports Information Director, Gene McGivern, said: “St. Thomas leaders, the Board of Trustees, the athletic department leaders and coaches like what Division III offers with the balance between a high-level of competition, academics and opportunities and time for other student opportunities like study abroad, internships, etc.”
Another student cut to the real issue: What about the always tasteful St. Thomas-St. John's rivalry?
“There’s nothing quite like the Tommie-Johnnie games,” said junior Max Romanaggi said. “I can’t imagine not getting to buy my new ‘Johnnies suck’ T-shirt every year and arguing with my friends who go there about which school is better.”
Well, Max, if you're talking academics, Upload suggests... Oh, never mind. This isn't the place for that argument.
To read McAndrews' entire opinion piece, go here.
And to offer McAndrew writing opportunities, go here.