Who foots the bill for public universities' athletic programs?

CHAMPAIGN — The athletic program at the University of Illinois benefits from indirect state subsidies of more than $8 million a year for employee pensions and benefits, on top of several million dollars from student fees — part of which ultimately comes from state grants for low-income students, a new report says.

Illini football working to end weak finishes

CHAMPAIGN — One item holds true for each game of Illinois football's current seven-game losing streak: It wasn't wildly out of hand when the Illini went into the locker room at halftime.

Illinois was tied with Minnesota at the break on Oct. 21. Trailed Iowa by four points on Oct. 7. Was just a field goal behind Purdue this past Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.

Bob Asmussen's Huddle Up: Week 11

Top four teams

If the playoffs started today, these schools would be in:

Nickerson takes leave from Illini

Here are three items Illinois coach Lovie Smith said in his weekly press conference that caught the attention of beat writer SCOTT RICHEY:

Thoughts with Nickerson

McGee: 'He can lead our program'

Illinois offensive coordinator Garrick McGee talks about the strides true freshman quarterback Cam Thomas made Saturday at Purdue, what's holding the Illini offense back and how he's handling the offensive struggles.

Smith: 'Reality is, it's no fun losing'

Illinois coach Lovie Smith breaks down the Illini program after seven straight losses heading into Saturday's game against Indiana before discussing the play of quarterback Cam Thomas and running back Kendrick Foster.

Nov. 5 Asmussen Top 25

Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen is a voting member of The Associated Press Top 25 panel. Here is this week's ballot:
SCHOOL   PREV.1. Alabama   1
2. Georgia   2
3. Wisconsin   4
4. Miami   5
5. Notre Dame   7
6. Clemson   8
7. Oklahoma   9

Tate: Illini going through growing pains

Slumps are common in college football.

And the longer they go, the harder they are to turn. Like a stampede. It's called the death spiral, generally leading to fan apathy and, inevitably, recruiting shortfalls. Failure feeds on itself.

Illini Legends Lists and Lore: Aaron Moorehead

Today is Fighting Illini football alum Aaron Moorehead's 37th birthday. Born in Aurora, Colo., he was recruited to Illinois by then head coach Ron Turner from Deerfield (Illinois) High School.

Upon Further review: Purdue 29, Illinois 10

First impressions

— Cam Thomas showed off his potential big arm during training. Given the chance to play two weeks ago, inconsistencies in the passing game stood out more for the true freshman quarterback than what his potential might truly be.