CEDAR FALLS - Greg McDermott's move to Creighton has created juicy storylines that stretch from the Missouri River to the Cedar River.
McDermott, who coached Northern Iowa's men's basketball program from 2002-06, officially left his post at Iowa State Monday, and is back in the Missouri Valley Conference, in Omaha.
But the reverberations of McDermott's departure in Ames were far-reaching, and were felt on UNI's campus in Cedar Falls. McDermott, of course, is the father of 2010 UNI signee Doug McDermott, a promising forward.
Coach McDermott told reporters Monday that his son would be joining him in Omaha and that Doug would play for Creighton.
"That's completely inaccurate," UNI athletic director Troy Dannen told The Courier Monday night. "The only person that has the authority to grant that release is me. And I have not received any request.
"Someone has the cart before the horse."
Dannen said UNI coach Ben Jacobson - Greg McDermott's best friend, by the way - has out-of-town speaking obligations this week, and Dannen wants to speak with Jacobson face-to-face before deciding on whether to release Doug McDermott from his Letter of Intent. Dannen would need to receive a formal, written transfer request and then sign off on it.
"We have not received a request to do that," Dannen reiterated. "And, if and when that request comes, I'll look at it and discus with (Jacobson). Until that point, I wouldn't make any commitment one way or the other."
By rule, when a scholarship student-athlete transfers within the Missouri Valley Conference they are forced to sit out two seasons.
MVC commissioner Doug Elgin, however, said that Doug McDermott should be eligible to play next season, as long as UNI gives full clearance.
"If the administration at UNI supports the waiver of the intra-conference transfer rule, I believe (Doug McDermott) would be eligible immediately next fall to compete at Creighton," Elgin said in a phone interview.
Doug McDermott could not immediately be reached for comment. If the current Ames High School senior does end up heading west for college, that would leave UNI with two open scholarships for next season.
Greg McDermott, who won 90 games at UNI earlier this decade, leaves Iowa State after compiling a four-year record of 59-68 with the Cyclones. He also went 18-46 in Big 12 competition in Ames. At Creighton, McDermott will replace Dana Altman, who left for Oregon on Sunday.
Elgin was excited to hear of Greg McDermott's return to the Valley.
"I think this is just terrific," Elgin said. "He has been one of the really great program-builders that the league has seen in my 22 years. It's great to have Greg back."