The NCAA gave the University of St. Thomas permission Wednesday to jump directly from Division III to Division I, the final clearance for a bold move born out of the Minnesota private school’s ejection from its conference for being too dominant.
The Tommies, who had secured a spot in the Summit League for all but three of their 22 varsity teams pending NCAA approval, announced they’ll join the Pioneer League for football and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for women’s hockey. The men’s hockey program is still in the process of finding a conference.
“We are looking more like our national Catholic peers in being a comprehensive university that competes at a level that broadens our platform,” St. Thomas president Julie Sullivan said. “So I think it’s really quite consistent with the trajectory of the university.”