The University of St. Thomas officially received approval from the NCAA Bureaucracy Machine to immediately re-classify to Division I in all sports, including men’s and women’s ice hockey:
"Today, we received long-awaited news from the @NCAA that St. Thomas has been approved to begin reclassification to Division I athletics." –President Julie Sullivan https://t.co/OIrvT0mtAs— University of St. Thomas (@UofStThomasMN) July 15, 2020
Wasting no time, St. Thomas has already been approved as a member of the women’s WCHA and will begin conference play in the 2021-2022 season:
We're excited to announce the @UofStThomasMN will be joining @WCHA_WHockey as our 8⃣th member❗️— WCHA Women's Hockey (@WCHA_WHockey) July 15, 2020
https://t.co/nVShs3wNVJ#WeAreWCHA | #BePurple pic.twitter.com/tOeLjTMkwU
The move is a perfect fit for both the school and the WCHA, which has been looking for an eighth member, and preferably one geographically near Minnesota’s Twin Cities, since North Dakota chose to drop their women’s hockey program.
The timing is perfect too, with travel likely to be extremely limited this coming hockey season, even under the best case scenario. Even though St. Thomas won’t be a full league member, this gives the state’s other hockey programs another scheduling option with one-day bus travel.
No decision was announced on the men’s side for a new conference home, though all signs point to St. Thomas becoming the eighth member of the newly-(re)created CCHA.