UI paying the price for coaching changes

Questions? Ask 'em here

URBANA — The buyouts continued Tuesday as Illinois shed yet another coach, but top university officials say that's the cost of doing business in the high-priced world of college athletics.

March 17 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 1:00pm

Who is the next Illinois basketball coach? Will Isaiah Martinez win another national championship this weekend? What's next for Lovie Smith's program? When will Mark Smith decide on a college? Sports editor Matt Daniels will take any and all questions on a variety of topics at 1 p.m. on Friday. Feel free to submit plenty of questions ahead of time.

March 13 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, March 13, 2017 - 10:00am

How well did the Illinois football team perform during spring practice? What are the priorities for the team before the start of the season? Who will be the first 2018 recruit to commit to Lovie Smith?

For the answers to these questions, and anything else on your mind, check in with our longtime college football writer.

Top of the Morning, March 10, 2017

A month after his own signing day, Illinois football coach LOVIE SMITH took part in a second.

Smith was a guest Thursday at the Illinois College of Business Signing Day ceremony at the Business Instructional Facility Commons. During the annual event, sophomore business students declared their majors.

Crouch working to be Illini team leader

CHAMPAIGN — Looking at him on the field, you can’t tell Illinois quarterback Chayce Crouch is limited.

On Wednesday afternoon, he high-stepped through the ropes, just like the rest of the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers. Everything was all-out for Crouch. The junior-to-be has only one speed.

March 9 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 3:00pm

What's the future look like for Illinois basketball? Will John Groce be back next season? How have spring football practices gone for Lovie Smith's program? Can Monticello boys' basketball win a state title this weekend in Peoria? Sports editor Matt Daniels will tackle any question you want to throw his way in his 3 p.m. chat on Thursday. Feel free to submit questions ahead of time.

UI football notes: DiLauro, Allegretti lead O-linemen

CHAMPAIGN — Last season, Christian DiLauro looked to seniors Joe Spencer and Austin Schmidt.

Now, it’s DiLauro’s turn to help lead Illinois football’s offensive line.

“I don’t credit myself as much of a talker,” DiLauro said. “I try to lead by example.”

Tate: Smith and the Illini stuck with many key contributors on the sidelines

It’s been a quiet “spring” for Lovie Smith’s gang.

4 former Illini start NFL combine experience

INDIANAPOLIS — Hardy Nickerson has his own NFL combine story. Now, his son is getting one too.

Way back in 1987, Cal’s Nickerson made the long trip from Berkeley to Indianapolis. The workout-fest didn’t get the attention it does today.

And the NFL Network wasn’t showing it live. Actually, there was no NFL Network (it debuted in 2003).

Leman sees steady improvement from Illini

CHAMPAIGN — J Leman kept one eye on the Memorial Stadim turf Saturday and one eye on his cellphone.

The former Illini-linebacker-turned-BTN analyst was waiting for a call from his wife, Katy. The couple is expecting their third child any day now. Leman was ready to jump in the car in a flash and return to his Wheaton home.