April 3 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, April 3, 2017 - 10:00am

What is the Illinois football team doing during the offseason? How is spring ball going for the rest of the Big Ten? When will Illinois announce plans for the Memorial Stadium renovations?

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

First report in five years shows UI athletes making grade

URBANA — Illinois athletes maintained an overall grade point average of 3.16 last fall, and by some measures have graduation rates comparable to the broader student body, according to data supplied to the campus Academic Senate.

March 30 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 2:00pm

What's next for Brad Underwood and Nancy Fahey? How is Lovie Smith's program faring after spring practice ended a few weeks ago? What area high schools could contend for state titles this spring? Anything is fair game as sports editor Matt Daniels takes your questions at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Illini legends, lists and lore: Basketball coaching success

So, just how successful has new Fighting Illini coach Nancy Fahey been during her career? Well, when ranked in terms of winning percentage against college men’s and women’s basketball coaches who have coached 29 or more seasons, only UConn’s Geno Auriemma has been more productive.

Sunday Conversation: Steve Kelly

Steve Kelly has become a local media mainstay for almost four decades. The veteran sportscaster, though, is nearing his final days working in Champaign-Urbana as he approaches retirement. Kelly's final "SportsTalk" on the WDWS 1400-AM airwaves is slated for this Friday evening.

After 'intense' process, Whitman ready for down time

CHAMPAIGN ­­— Josh Whitman doesn’t have many big plans Saturday.

“I’m looking forward to this weekend,” the Illinois athletic director said with a grin on Friday morning. “I might not even shave (Saturday). We’ll see what that feels like.”

The last two Saturdays have seen moments that might come to define Whitman’s tenure at his alma mater.

He fired John Groce on March 11.

March 27 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 10:00am

What has Lovie Smith been up to since the end of spring ball? Who will be his first commit for 2018? What team will win the NCAA basketball title?

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

From the blog: Illini radio soundboard! (2017 UPDATE)

2017 UPDATE!

Brian Barnhart

Doug Altenberger:

Martin O'Donnell:

Lovie Smith:

Underwood's hiring adds to recent UI positivity

CHAMPAIGN — The stigma is gone. Or, at least, fading fast.

In 2015, Illinois fired its football coach and its athletic director. There were pending lawsuits. The chancellor resigned.

It was not an easy time to be involved with the school's athletic program. Each month seemed to bring more negative news.

March 23 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 2:00pm

What was going to go in The News-Gazette's sports section this past Sunday before Brad Underwood was hired? What do other college basketball experts think of Josh Whitman's hire? How is Lovie Smith's program progressing? What area high schools are poised to have good spring sports? Sports editor Matt Daniels will answer any and all questions in his 2 p.m. chat on Thursday.