If the most powerful conferences in the NCAA start providing stipends to college basketball players Drake will follow suit. That according to Bulldog coach Ray Giacoletti who says if the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and the SEC get more power over the rules that govern college athletics schools in leagues like the Missouri Valley will need to be ready for change. “I know our athletic administration is all set with men’s and women’s that if there is a stipend that is involved we will be able to do what everybody else does. But who knows what will happen with the five power conferences,”Giacoletti says.
Giacoletti says even if the conferences with big time football get more power that does not necessarily mean big changes for the NCAA basketball tournament. “I am hoping that basketball will never change. The NCAA tournament is too special of an event each March…but we are just going to have to wait and see how this all plays out,” Giacoletti says.
UNI coach Ben Jacobsen says the key for the Missouri Valley Conference and its members is to be prepared for a changing landscape. “We don’t have a lot of control over it or how it is going to play out,” Jacobsen says. He says what they are doing is trying to stay in steps with the areas where they do have control.
Jacobsen says there have been a lot of discussions about possible changes at the conference level. “We have to be able to be prepared, whether it’s the stipend, just being prepared for what may come our way. Being in a position to do everything that we can to move forward,” Jacobsen says.