SAINT PETER—The NCAA launched an investigation Saturday afternoon in response to charges that the Gustavus football team kidnapped the St. Thomas University squad, forcing them to play the season posing as the Gustie squad. Gustavus Athletic Director Tim Black has vehemently denied the accusations, telling reporters, “This is ridiculous. Can’t a team just miraculously turn things around without people jumping to conclusions? Against all odds? Out of nowhere rejecting the losing culture that has surrounded the team for years? It just happens.”
This investigation is coming off the heels of a 6-0 start for Gustavus, whom many have claimed look like “an entirely different team” from years past. Statements such as this, however, have not escaped league notice. NCAA representative Sharon Elias, in a press release following the Golden Gustie’s 37-29 win over St. Olaf, stated, “We take the integrity of collegiate athletics very seriously. Especially when we believe that student athletes have been forcibly removed from their homes and family to play football for another program. While it is true that we are unable to point to a specific league rule which forbids this conduct, the NCAA still feels compelled to take action.”
While the NCAA investigation will be hard-pressed to draw up firm charges against the Gustavus program, their case rests on meaningful evidence that this year’s Gustavus football has been uncharacteristically well-dressed, intelligent, and Catholic.