Conference membership at all levels of college football ebbs and flows. It's rare, although not unprecedented, for a school to be kicked out of a conference for not being good enough. However, has any school actually been kicked out for being too good?
Division III powerhouse St. Thomas has now.
In a release, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) announced that the university has been "involuntarily removed" and will undergo a multi-year transition out of the conference, ending in 2020-21. The conference states further: "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."
All of that is a polite way to say that St. Thomas has been thoroughly and unapologetically whooping ass, and everyone else is sick of it.
The MIAC's membership has understandable frustrations with the Tommies, who are 118-19 in 11 years under coach Glenn Caruso. In six of those seasons, St. Thomas went undefeated in conference play. Last year alone, St. Thomas outscored conference opponents 357-96 -- or an average score of about 45-12. But even that doesn't tell the full story. St. Thomas scored at least 60 points in conference games four times and posted four shutouts. The 2017 season was just as mind-boggling with the Tommies beating St. Olaf by a merciless 97-0 spread.
There are other examples, but you get the point. Perhaps the most telling was a tidbit from Football Scoop, which noted that St. Thomas won the department-wide Learfield Directors Cup in 2017-18 by more than 250 points.
Enrollment size also serves as a core issue in the decision, as St. Thomas has about two or three times as many undergrads (6,111) as other MIAC schools. The conference's statement concludes that St. Thomas is one of "seven founding members of the MIAC and will leave the conference in good standing with a long and appreciated history of academic and athletic success."
Not appreciated enough, apparently, since the rest of the MIAC was unwilling to keep being whacked on the keister with a paddle whilst saying "thank you, sir, may I have another?"