McFeely: If you're going to do this, MIAC presidents, own it
The Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm met this week, possibly or possibly not in the Twin Cities, to discuss things regarding situations that might or might not involve items related to, but not limited in scope to, circumstances affecting the state of affairs of certain, but not all, members of the Realm and how those circumstances might, or might not, affect the Order going forward.
Welcome to the world of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference presidents, a group of self-important ninnies so afraid of their own shadow they won't take ownership or even have the guts to speak publicly that they're considering kicking out one of their founding members.
And this is athletics-related and not at all scandalous. Imagine if it was something truly important like hazing, rape, academic fraud or financial misdeeds. These people would tunnel to the middle of the Earth, meet in a soundproof vault, take a secret vote and emerge trembling and silent in the dark of night.
Rest easy, parents dropping $45,000 a year to get your kids a private education in Minnesota, this is the kind of openness and accessibility you can expect from the highest levels of the institutions.
The MIAC presidents are considering expelling St. Thomas from their league, based on the Tommies' dominance in football. Head coach Glenn Caruso thinks nothing of rubbing inferior opponents' noses in their inferiority and that's rubbed some presidents the wrong way.
And so, some in this insular crowd of groupthinkers has decided, let's solve a problem of unsportsmanlike conduct by one head coach by evicting the league's strongest member. A rising tide sinks all boats, or something like that.
How our local MIAC school, Concordia in Moorhead, stands is not known. The president, William Craft, has lowered the Cone of Silence like his colleagues. College and university presidents, private and public, are among the most insulated, protected and paranoid collection of influential people in America today. And usually, for no particular reason. It's baffling.
To be clear, the MIAC is made up entirely of private institutions and the league is under no obligation to be open. Its schools are not subject to open-records laws.
But the schools do operate in the public domain, with a combined undergraduate enrollment of about 36,000 and alumni bases larger than that, so it might benefit them to be at least a smidgen forthcoming.
Instead, the conference office issued a press release after a meeting Thursday that read in totality: "The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Presidents' Council met on Thursday, April 18 for a discussion on philosophy, competition, and membership. The presidents of all 13 MIAC institutions attended and agreed to continue discussions at future meetings. No action was taken and no further details will be provided at this time."
What do they fear? These are highly-educated people, perfectly able to communicate their thoughts on complex issues. (Which this is not.) We must assume they choose not to because they have no capacity for transparency to their students, faculty, coaches, donors, alumni, fans or the public in general.
They are afraid of accountability. They are ninnies.
If you're going to do it, own it. Put it out there. If it is the proper decision, done for the right reasons with the greater good of the conference in mind, there is nothing to dread.
Instead, one of the great NCAA Division III conferences in the land is being threatened by the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm meeting in undisclosed locations, unwilling to speak to what they're doing. This is more embarrassing than St. Thomas beating another team 97-0.