Asmussen: Past AD has Illinois ready for present

On a sunny Thursday morning, Ron Guenther walks into a Champaign restaurant. Fit and trim. You can’t believe he turns 70 in October.

And hard to believe it has been almost four years since Guenther last ran the Illinois athletic department.

For 19 years, the former Illinois football MVP led a coach-friendly program.

Lewis still in the game

CHAMPAIGN — Winnipeg isn’t where most football players aspire to play once their college careers end.

Corey Lewis isn’t like most football players. The former Illinois offensive lineman, who tore anterior cruciate ligaments four times while with the Illini, is back playing football.

Dudek: 'I want to play this year'

CHAMPAIGN — Monday can’t arrive soon enough in Mikey Dudek’s mind.

It’s the day he takes the last final of his freshman year at Illinois.

But the Illini wide receiver, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on April 8 during an Illinois spring practice at Memorial Stadium, has bigger items to cross off two days from now.

Brent retires from Cowboys

IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent is retiring again.

It's the second time the former Illini has retired since his conviction for intoxication manslaughter in the crash that killed teammate and former Illini Jerry Brown in 2012.

Catching up with Donovonn Young

What happened after the draft for you?
I didn’t get many calls. The Falcons were the only team that called me. I’m putting all my eggs in one basket.

How have you been preparing for your shot?
I have been doing a lot of running, a lot of footwork stuff, just trying to get a little bit better than I was before.

Who's ready for North Carolina?

The marquee nonconference game for Illinois in 2015 is at North Carolina. Is it among the best the Big Ten has to offer in 2015? Matt Daniels’ top picks:

1. Alabama vs. Wisconsin

Date: Sept. 5

Location: AT&T Stadium; Arlington, Texas

Ward undergoes surgery

CHAMPAIGN — Another Illinois football player is dealing with an injury he sustained this spring.

Jihad Ward had surgery two weeks ago once the defensive end learned after the spring game on April 18 he had suffered a stress reaction in his left foot.

Host of popular Illini call-in shows leaving

CHAMPAIGN — During 14-plus years at WDWS and its sister stations, Brian Moline has covered college football, soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, wrestling and women’s basketball.

He has called high school football, basketball and baseball games.

He has been one of the voices of C-U Little League.

Former Illini Mercilus nets new deal

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans signed outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus to a four-year contract extension on Monday.

A first-round draft pick in 2012 out of Illinois, Mercilus has appeared in 47 games, making 33 starts, and has recorded 139 tackles, 18 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Last season, Mercilus had 50 tackles and five sacks.

Asmussen: Fictitious Hall of Fame a blast

I love sports. 

And I love movies/TV.

Thanks to Kirk Buchner, both my worlds collide. In a good way.

The Canadian-based Buchner is the owner/creator of the Fictitious Athlete Hall of Fame.

“It is a labor of love,” Buchner said.