CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa’s four-year basketball contracts with Iowa and Iowa State expire this year, jeopardizing the school’s annual series with those schools after this season.
“We really haven’t gotten all the way into it yet,” UNI Athletics Director Troy Dannen said. “We just know it’s up, and it’s not as easy as, ‘Here’s the contract,’ like we did last one.
“I don’t think anybody has decided exactly what we’re going to do going forward.”
Both Iowa and Iowa State have expanded conference schedules from 16 to 18 games since the last contract was signed. With all three schools boasting postseason football teams, it’s problematic to re-start negotiations on another contract.
“We need to wait,” Dannen said. “We’ve got some things going on here. Gary (Barta at Iowa) and Jamie (Pollard at Iowa State) have some things going on there. So I think when some of that slows up, everybody will sit down and take another look at it.”
Iowa has played Northern Iowa every season since 1988, and the schools alternate locations annually. Dannen there’s been no discussion about playing strictly at the larger school’s home venue or at a neutral site like Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena.
“I’m not even going to speculate on what everybody might want to do,” Dannen said. “I just know what we want to do, which is continue the series we’re in the middle of.
“It’s a great series for UNI. We get to play Big Ten/Big 12 opponents in our gym. We have a sold-out crowd tonight. We’ll sell out every year for Iowa and Iowa State. The community likes it. I’m sure it’s good for Iowa and Iowa State to get into the Cedar Valley in front of their boosters just like it’s good for us to go to Drake in front of our boosters in Des Moines.
“Something will happen during the basketball season.”