Illini AD on the air

Illini AD on the air

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman was a guest on Saturday SportsTalk on WDWS 1400-AM in downtown Champaign, discussing plans — both on the field and off — that are under way.

"We're really excited about what the future is going to bring," he told hosts Loren Tate and Michael Kiser.

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BigBadJohn wrote on January 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm

How in the world can he be excited about the future?  Lovie is an utter failure.  And he probably will get worse.  Whitman made a huge mistake hiring a pro.  The forte of pro coaches is designing complex game plans.  That is nowhere near the top of the list for the college ranks.  In fact it may be down at the bottom.  At the top of the list is recruiting.  And next is knowing how to motivate and handle teenagers.  Pro coaches like Lovie have no clue about recruiting and are used to dealing with older and richer players who present different kinds of personnel problems.  To make matters worse, the pro coaches hire buddies from the pros who can't help with any of these things either and only compound the problem.  Whitman will have to fire Lovie after one more year and then start all over again from the ground up.  I guess Whitman thought Lovie's name would bring in good recruits by the dozens.  Nope.  Didn't happen.  And the clock is beginning to start ticking on Whitman's own future.  So many empty seats.  And it looks like basketball situation is going to be a slow go also until we can get a couple of bigs to work the boards.  The recent Iowa game proved that.  Groan.

Moonpie wrote on January 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm

The inexperienced and naive AD better hope for the future because the present ain't so great with hoops and football bleeding badly under the command of mediocre coaches and less than stellar players.

But, perhaps Tate will just do the usual -- bame fans for it all -- and then everything will be hunky-dory.

MasterOfTheObvious wrote on January 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Of course everyone at WDWS, the News Gazette and DIA are all smiles, as even with the 0-19 Big Ten start in the sports that matter (Football and the two basketballs) there is a new, no-bid out broadcast contract that was signed this week giving the low ball rights for the next three years.

Whitman is not going anywhere as he is exactly what Illinois wanted, a homegrown AD who "knows how to win", even though he never "WON" as a player.  As the AD at Wash U he was in D3, but he had the largest budget in all of D3 sports, the best facilities in D3, and while all of the other teams were riding in busses, Wash U was in planes. 

The hire of the Wash U D3 hoops coach will go down as the most ridiculous of them all, as even with the great success at the D3 level, that hire is ludicrous as Fahey is 59 years old and is just now coaching in D1 for the first time.  0-5 in the Big Ten, 9-10 overall, and 6 straight losses.  Her staff is 75% what was here before and was not working, but since she has zero recruiting ties, she had to keep the nucleus of the old staff.  

Lovie can't recruit either, and he got the job because Ron Turner > Ron Guenther told Whitman that it was a home run.  Well, the Illini have lost 12 straight games in the Big Ten, and have the #12/14 recruiting class here in 2018, on top of the 14/14 class in 2017.  Not exactly an optimism builder there.  But hey, after the 2-0 start next fall and the wins over Kent State and Western Illinois, everyone will be ga ga about Lovie, talking about bowls.  Then when South Florida and Penn State roll up big wins, and the record evens out at 2-2, the Illini will have to go to New Jersey to play Rutgers on October 6.  Lose that one, and it could well be another 0-9 Big Ten slate, 2-10 overall.  Oh, and it's been 3 weeks since the OC and DB coaches were fired, and no hires coming out of the college football coaches convention this past week.  Why?  Is Lovie going to hire a pro coach or two who are still active in the playoffs?  Bizarre doings with this program.