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  When Pioneer Football League Commissioner Patty Viverito first heard about St. Thomas, which was essentially kicked out of its conference for being too good, she thought, "Oh, come on. This is crazy." Fast forward several months, after the St. Paul university decided to make the big jump from Division III to Division I. Viverito discovered that some within her league had the same trepidations about adding St. Thomas as the MIAC did when giving it the boot. "I thought people would be 100 percent enthusiastic," Viverito said. "And I got my first phone call from a skeptical person in our league who said, 'Now, wait a minute, I have a hard enough time competing in the current Pioneer Football League lineup. How am I going to compete against St. Thomas? They're too good.'?"

Viverito's response was pretty simple. "Whenever you can find a member who will make your league better, you act," she said. St. Thomas, with its 126-21 record under longtime coach Glenn Caruso - including two NCAA championship appearances the past eight seasons - just seemed to fit. St. Thomas, which received clearance from the NCAA last week to start the five-year process, will begin playing at the D-I level in 2021-22. When the football team joins the Pioneer Football League, it will be one of 11 teams in the non-scholarship, football-only conference, spread from California to New York and Minnesota to Florida. The conference champion automatically qualifies for the FCS playoffs. - Minneapolis Star Tribune

(DS#999 QB) rSr/2022 QB Tommy DolanSaint Thomas
News Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune



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