CHAMPAIGN — Two points.
The difference between a tie and a win. Seemingly inconsequential, right?
Maybe in nonconference play. But it’s an entirely different animal when it comes to a Big Ten season that only lasts 11 matches. Particularly this season, when the conference might be the closest — the most competitive top to bottom — it has been in years.
Born 128 years ago Monday — Sept. 28, 1887 — was Illini legend Avery Brundage. His greatest fame came from 1952 to 1972, when his served as president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois spent the final part of Wednesday’s practice working on set plays off corner kicks from the right side of the north end of the field at Illinois Soccer Stadium.
It paid off Thursday night.
Illinois soccer hosts No. 15 Rutgers in its Big Ten home opener Thursday. Here’s more on the 6-2-1 Illini, courtesy beat writer SCOTT RICHEY:
TEMPE, Ariz. — Illinois volleyball sat three starters for the duration of Friday afternoon’s match against Texas Southern in the Sun Devil Invitational and still pulled off its fifth consecutive sweep and eighth of the season with a 25-13, 25-7, 25-11 victory against the Tigers.
The News-Gazette’s five-person “fan favorites” piqued my interest this week as I tried to imagine five Illini athletes who flashed more greatness and staying power than Olympic champion Bobby Richards and football superstars Dick Butkus, J.C. Caroline and Buddy Young.
WICHITA, Kan. — A slow start against Kentucky didn’t keep No. 7 Illinois from adding a second consecutive win against a Top 25 team to its season résumé. The Illini needed a brief push into extra points in the first set but still managed a 26-24, 25-19, 25-18 sweep of the No. 21 Wildcats in their first match of the Shocker Classic.
CHAMPAIGN — The plan last fall to replace Vanessa DiBernardo’s stabilizing force in the Illinois midfield was to hand those duties to Taylore Peterson.
But that old adage about “best-laid plans” exists for a reason.
Administrators administrate. Fundraisers chase money. Professors teach.
In most cases, our jobs aren’t complicated. Salesmen sell. Accountants run numbers. Farmers farm.
But as we’re starting to understand with the travails of the UI’s Mike Thomas, the obligations of a collegiate athletic director run the gamut of complexity.