Monday’s Illinois football scrimmage, originally scheduled to take place at Rantoul High’s Bill Walsh Field, will play out at the Illini’s Camp Rantoul practice site instead.
The school’s waiver to hold the scrimmage at the high school was denied by the NCAA, sports information director Kent Brown said Friday. Illinois had to apply for the waiver to meet NCAA standards established in 2011, rules that effectively knocked the Shootout at the Hall out of the State Farm Center and to Parkland College.
Illinois applied and received a waiver to scrimmage at Rantoul High in 2011. Last season, Tim Beckman’s first team didn’t use the high school’s field.
Due to limited lighting, Monday’s scrimmage will start around 5:50 p.m. and last until 7:30, Brown said. Admission is free and bleacher seating is available at Camp Rantoul.
As a result of the earlier start to the scrimmage, "The News-Gazette Sports Page" radio show will start at 4:30 p.m. at T&T Tavern in Rantoul. The show will air until 5:45, at which point WDWS 1400-AM will carry the scrimmage.
The change in location throws off plans the Rantoul Rotary Club had for selling concessions.
The organization has used the scrimmage as a fundraiser in the past, but won’t do so this year.
Rotary President Tim Evans, who is the general manager of The News-Gazette Community Newspapers, said he first heard about the possibility of the scrimmage getting switched on Thursday morning.
“We decided not to do the concession stand because we weren’t sure what was going to happen,” Evans said. “We didn’t want people to buy stuff and then be stuck with it. We knew if they held it at Camp Rantoul it’s not a great venue for us to sell stuff out there. We wouldn’t expect that many people.”
Evans said the organization has made money selling concessions at the scrimmage in the past and broke even in other years, too.
“Some people are going to be upset about the decision, but it’s an NCAA thing,” Evans said. “It’s not an Illini thing. That’s the first thing people have to remember. We sure welcome Camp Rantoul to be out here. Camp Rantoul’s been a great thing for Rantoul.”