It's been a week since the news broke on the MIAC (myak) "involuntarily removing" the University of St. Thomas from the league. The coverage of it has gone nationwide, including E-S-P-N radio & their late night talk show, to name a couple. Where it's been discussed, the conversation has been frequently critical. I get why, there is some spinelessness to the decision by the presidents. Who then doubled down on it by not having the intestinal fortitude to meet the media about the decision.
But my take is far less negative than the rest. Not because I think competition should be made easier. Not because it's only D3 athletics in a Minnesota private school league. But because in a different way, it matches the trend of sports nationwide - win at all costs. The decision was not criminal nor did it break any other rules that I know about. It's about hurt feelings, wounded prides and having the chance to even the playing field. Going back to the steroid era in Baseball, and probably even further, that's not new. There have been examples of leagues, organizations and teams doing all they can to gain advantage all the time. It got to the point that the FBI was investigating college Basketball for elicit activities. The latest regional controversy is not up to that level, despite the wide ranging coverage.
The breadth of said media talk is related to the fact that it's a first of it's kind decision in America. On the flip side, in Soccer league's around the world, team's get relegated every year. The difference being that relegation was typically for not being good enough to qualify, so the MIAC's decision may be unique globally but I say again, it goes with the larger trend of athletics. Minnesota rarely leads the way on anything and considering the backlash, I doubt any other D1, D2, D3 or NAIA's will make a similar decision but after taking some days to think about it, that's the conclusion I've come to.
That could lead to a larger discussion on the cesspool that is the NCAA and sports in general in many ways, but I'm not interested in diverting from the main topic. The only reason I'm even making it the inaugural topic of what I plan on being a new week series is the presence of a member school in the coverage area.
Speaking of them, whether Concordia is able to take advantage of the more fair playing field that will exist without the reigning program standing in it's way will only be seen after years have unfolded. As one who wants all the local school's and team's to succeed, I hope that that's part of what comes from it. So now, a week later, the conversation should be about what the kicking out of a long time member school actually means, and not just reacting to the decision as the sea of voices have done.