Veteran Missouri Valley commissioner: ‘I have never witnessed so much uncertainty in the collegiate landscape’

Veteran Missouri Valley commissioner: ‘I have never witnessed so much uncertainty in the collegiate landscape’

Patty Viverito has been the Missouri Valley Football Conference commissioner since the league’s inception in 1985. While she has seen change, today’s issues stand atop the mountain of transition.

“In my 40 years working in college sports, I have never witnessed so much uncertainty in the collegiate landscape,” Viverito said during Monday’s MVFC media days opening Zoom session.

“We’ve got the continuing pandemic. We’ve got the transformation committee working on issues that surround our transfer rules, our name, image and likeness rules,” she said, also noting conference realignment and legal issues.

Yet, Viverito does also see positives.

Patty Viverito

“Despite that upheaval, we didn’t just get through the 2021 season,” Viverito said, “we had unprecedented success.”

The 70-year-old commissioner then listed the MVFC’s many achievements from wins over FBS teams to establishing the league as the best at the FCS level to North Dakota State capping the year with yet another national championship.

She also noted that the conference is coming off a season in which six of its members made the 24-school playoff field, the highest total in its history. Southern Illinois was one of those six playoff qualifiers; in fact, the Salukis have made the postseason two straight seasons.

Illinois State and Western Illinois are also members of the 11-team conference. Murray State, in its final year in the Ohio Valley Conference, joins the football league next season.

The MVFC has reached the FCS title game 11 straight seasons. Of course that total is mostly thanks for North Dakota State, winners of nine national titles since 2011.

Moreover, that stronghold seems even greater as former FCS title rivals James Madison, Sam Houston State and Jacksonville State are transitioning to the FBS level.

Asked if the Bison dominance was good for FCS as a whole, Viverito said, “I think every time you win a national championship is a good thing. I’ll leave it at that.”

The future of FCS

Given the uncertainty of collegiate football as the FBS appears to be headed toward mega conferences, where do teams at the FCS level fit in?

“I think that is a league-wide discussion that will ultimately be decided by (university) presidents,” Viverito said. “I can tell you that each and every year I get to (each conference) campus and this year will be no exception.”

Viverito also shared that she will no longer be serving as league commissioner on a multisport level, thus giving her time to focus solely on football.

“This year I’ll be able to come early, stay late. I intend to meet with every coach, every AD and every president over the course of this fall,” she said. “As things unfold nationally, I think we have to have a game plan in place for how we will fit into whatever landscape develops.

“To me, the key to success across the entire division is that we maintain our ties to the highest level of Division I football. And that’s for the good of the game.”


Welcome to ChicagoNow.

our bloggers,
post comments, or
pitch your blog idea.

Meet The Blogger

Dan Verdun

Blog co-authors Barry Bottino and Dan Verdun bring years of experience covering collegiate athletics. Barry has covered college athletes for more than two decades in his “On Campus” column, which is published weekly by Shaw Media. Dan has written four books about the state’s football programs–“NIU Huskies Football” (released in 2013), “EIU Panthers Football (2014), “ISU Redbirds” (2016) and “SIU Salukis Football” (2017).

Subscribe by Email

Completely spam free, opt out any time.

Latest on ChicagoNow

Veteran Missouri Valley commissioner: ‘I have never witnessed so much uncertainty in the collegiate landscape’

from Prairie State Pigskin by Dan Verdun posted today at 1:16 pm

Substack here I come

from Being Catholic…Really by Pam Spano by Pam Spano posted today at 10:37 am

When actors land the accent but are hard to understand

from Retired in Chicago by Marianne Goss posted today at 8:27 am

Cooper Says “Sock It To Me.”

from Getting More From Les by lesraff posted today at 7:20 am

Food for the People You Love

from Pantry to Plate by Barbara Revsine posted Sunday at 1:53 pm

Read these ChicagoNow blogs

Cubs Den

Chicago Cubs news and comprehensive blog, featuring old school baseball writing combined with the latest statistical trends

Pets in need of homes

Pets available for adoption in the Chicago area


It’s like the couch potato version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

About ChicagoNow



Recent posts RSS

Privacy policy (Updated)

Comment policy

Terms of service

Chicago Tribune Archives

Do not sell my personal info

©2022 CTMG – A Chicago Tribune website –
Crafted by the News Apps team

Read More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *