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.
Money, money, money! Some describe the NCAA as the sports version of Monopoly.
Illinois now officially lists its athletic budget at $110 million, this year incorporating State Farm Center operating costs and debt service into what had previously been accepted as a number somewhere over $80 million.
He hasn’t turned 18 yet, but last week, Illinois sophomore Brandon Ngai won an NCAA championship on the pommel horse as the Illini finished fourth as a team in Columbus, Ohio. Ngai, who made his Illini debut at the age of 16, is believed to be the youngest participant in a varsity sport in school history.