University of St. Thomas invited to join Division I Summit League

St. Thomas quarterback Tommy Dolan stands behind a row of blockers as he pulls back for a short throw to the flat. Dolan threw for two TDs off only 15 attempts as his running backs dominated the game.

The University of St. Thomas announced Friday it has been invited to join the Summit League, a Division I athletic conference, four months after it was kicked out of the Division III Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).

The NCAA must approve the St. Thomas’ move to the Summit League. Current NCAA rules state that Division III schools can only reclassify to Division II, but the university said it has submitted a request for a waiver to the NCAA that would allow them to enter Division I.

The Summit League does not currently sponsor ice hockey or football. As a result, St. Thomas would actively pursue affiliate membership opportunities for these programs in other Division I conferences.

St. Thomas is still eligible to compete in the MIAC through spring 2021. If the NCAA grants its waiver request, St. Thomas said it will begin competing in the Summit League in fall 2021. 

The nine-member Summit League includes the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University and South Dakota State University.