St. Thomas heard encouraging news today in its bid to reclassify directly from Division III intercollegiate athletics to Division I. The NCAA Division I Council advanced support for legislation that clears a path for D-III athletics programs to reclassify to D-I, provided those programs meet certain criteria. Additionally, the council supported receiving a formal waiver request from St. Thomas and the Summit League athletic conference that would allow the school to begin the reclassification process sooner. This brings St. Thomas a step closer to becoming the first D-III program to make this jump in the modern NCAA era.
“We will immediately begin work with Commissioner Tom Douple and the NCAA to formally submit our waiver request,” said Phil Esten, St. Thomas vice president and director of athletics. “While I know all of us are anxiously awaiting definitive word on where we will be competing starting with the 2021-22 season, we must remain patient for just a little while longer. As always, I remain optimistic about the future of Tommie athletics, and we look forward to continuing to work with the NCAA on the reclassification process.”