Behind the scenes: processing a forfeit

The start of a new year brought a rare occurrence in the MIAC. After an incident involving the Hamline men's basketball program, the disciplinary aftermath left the Pipers without enough players to compete in Saturday's scheduled MIAC contest at Gustavus, meaning Hamline would have to forfeit. That kick-started a process we don't use often, with some confusing twists and turns.

The forfeit thing is a little trickier than the general public realizes, because the NCAA doesn't technically recognize a forfeit. Don't ask me why, but if the game isn't played, in the eyes of the NCAA - including stats, standings, record, strength of schedule, etc. - it simply isn't a game and no result is attached. So when the season ends, Gustavus will have one less win and Hamline will have one less loss in the official NCAA records than on the MIAC Web site.

However, conferences do have the power to award wins and losses in the conference standings. In the MIAC, that means conducting a vote regarding each individual forfeit by the conference's management council. In this instance, the management council voted - correctly, in my opinion - to award a win to Gustavus and a loss to Hamline, so the official MIAC record shows a 2-0 win by Forfeit for Gustavus, and the conference standings reflect that ruling.

This also led to some fun hoops to jump through on our stats and scoreboard site - - because we want our standings to accurately reflect how we assessed the forfeit without it registering on the national level. That technology is still developing for a process that just isn't seen that often.

Does that all make sense? In my nearly three years in the MIAC office, this is only the second forfeit I've encountered, and the first in a conference game, and hopefully we won't see another for a long time. Regardless of the reasons, it's always best to settle things on the court.

Quick hits
-The first round of MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week awards were handed out today in basketball and hockey, with swimming and diving set to return next week. We had co-winners in women's basketball today, which doesn't happen very often in our league, but the conference SID vote was even for both players, and it would have been impossible to pick one of these young women over the other. Both incredible performances, especially considering the circumstances. The MIAC sends our best to St. Thomas' Kellie Ring and her family, and are amazed by the courage she displayed last week by not only playing after the passing of her father, but playing at such a high level.

-Speaking of St. Thomas - winners of nine in a row after dropping the season-opener - is anyone sensing a similar season to last year? The Tommies dropped their first game of the year in 2011-12, then didn't lose again until the Final Four - a winning streak of 30 games. That would be almost too remarkable to repeat, but with nine straight wins and a 9-1 record since the 2012-13 opener, the parallel at least deserves a thought. UST (7-0 MIAC) faces Gustavus (7-0 MIAC) Wednesday, in what could be a matchup of teams who are both 8-0 in the league. St. Thomas plays Bethel tonight, while the Gusties take on Macalester.

-How about this for a tale of two halves in MIAC women's basketball last week ... Concordia trailed St. Olaf 41-18 at the half, then won the second half 43-18 to claim a remarkable 61-49 victory. Not only did Emily Thesing - who shared the MIAC WBB AOW honor with Ring - lead the way throughout the comeback, she got a block and two defensive rebounds on the Oles' final two possessions, and drilled the game-winner at the buzzer.

-Concordia also got an Athlete-of-the-Week honor for men's hockey freshman Tucker Coborn, who knows how to score in style. His first collegiate goal beat UW-Eau Claire - the No. 3-ranked team in the country - in overtime Saturday night.

-St. Thomas and Bethel are tied atop the men's hockey standings, so it was fitting the two met in a nonconference game over the weekend. The Tommies won. 6-4, with a hat trick and an assist from star Riley Horgan. Bethel scored two in the final 3:15 of the second to tie the game at 4-4, but UST had a two-goal answer in the final period.

-Are they going to re-name the Liberty Mutual Division III Football Coach-of-the-Year award to the "Glenn Caruso award?" TheSt. Thomas coach won it for the third-straight season Monday - and is the first coach at any level to capture the honor three times - in Miami. He'll attend tonight's NCAA FBS Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama. Irish Head Coach Brian Kelly claimed the same honor for the FBS division Monday.

-The 13 goals scored by the Augsburg women's hockey team Saturday vs. Finlandia is a new school record. The seven point tallied by Rachel Hennessy - three goals and four assists - are not a school record for points in a single game, which is eight, but it is still pretty impressive, and good enough to help her claim the MIAC Women's Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week honor.

-Will any MIAC men's basketball player turn in a better performance than Bethel's Taylor Hall did on Saturday? If so, I hope I'm in attendance. The All-MIAC forward had 35 points and 18 rebounds. That's a good week for a lot of players. The league's leader in scoring and rebounding was named the Athlete-of-the-Week for his Superman-like exploits.

-Want to watch MIAC basketball this weekend, but don't want to leave your couch? You're in luck. Channel 45 will be broadcasting the Saint John's @ St. Thomas men's basketball game in the metro area Saturday at 3 p.m.

Mail time
-Do you have a question about MIAC sports that you'd like to see answered in this blog, or by Mike Gallagher on our MIAC Media Podcast? Write us on Facebook or Twitter or e-mail me at: I'd love to make this more interactive, and see what's on the minds of the great people throughout the MIAC community.


  1. I'm happy this Blog finally has come to life. Great idea... and a great lesson for all those admins out there about forfeiture. Hopefully it isn't something that has to happen again for awhile. Keep it up Matt!

  2. Thanks Old Lady! I appreciate the comment and kind words.

    Also - anyone can feel free to leave a question here in the comments section to be answered in a future blog in addition to email and social media.


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