ST. LOUIS — Sam Mikulak, Jake Dalton and John Orozco are heading back to the Olympics. So are Alex Naddour and Chris Brooks. And this time, they won’t watch from the stands.
Naddour and Brooks, alternates on the 2012 men’s gymnastics team, will join Mikulak, Dalton and Orozco in Rio de Janeiro in August after earning spots on the U.S. team Saturday night.
When Adam Silver or Rob Manfred or Roger Goodell speaks to a crowd of fans, they are booed. Loudly. Commissioners, for some reason, draw the ire of the people.
Except in the Big Ten.
There will be no booing the next time Jim Delany speaks. As commissioners go, he always wins the popularity contest.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois men’s gymnast Alex Diab won a Big Ten title. Illinois volleyball player Jordyn Poulter started the majority of the season at setter for a Sweet 16 team.
On Wednesday, the two freshmen received the annual Newcomers of the Year award handed out by the Illinois athletic department.
In the 1983-84 school year, University of Illinois women’s gymnast Karen Brems became the first Illini athlete to be named as the school’s Athlete of the Year and the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor Award winner in the same season.
On this date 26 years ago — June 5, 1990 — it was announced Pennsylvania State University had joined the Big Ten Conference. Just four months into his first term as commissioner of the conference, Jim Delany first seriously entertained the suggestion brought to him by then-University of Illinois President Stanley Ikenberry, a Penn State graduate.
Illinois athletics kept The News-Gazette headline writers busy throughout the week. Court decisions, student-athlete reinstatements, criminal charges dropped. There was a new story every day.
On Page 2 of Saturday’s sports section, a smaller headline read “Hood receives promotion.” Not as splashy but every bit as important.
Forty-five years ago today, former Champaign High School star Mark Koster set an Illini varsity record in the 440-yard intermediate hurdles with a clocking of 51.3 seconds.
CHAMPAIGN – Warren Hood was instrumental in the renovations at Memorial Stadium. The longtime DIA administrator also took control of the State Farm Center project when Tom Michael left the University of Illinois to become athletic director at Eastern Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois baseball’s Doug Hayes earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Week status Monday after posting a shutout victory against 19th-ranked Minnesota last week.