Question for the day: With long-awaited news ready to pop any day, how many rabbits can a new athletic director pull out of his hat to settle Illini Nation’s unrest?
Born 97 years ago Sunday was baseball icon Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in the major leagues in the modern era. From 1947 through 1956, the former UCLA football and baseball star led the Brooklyn Dodgers.
CHAMPAIGN — The new 10-year agreement with Nike will net the University of Illinois athletic department more gear, but less cash, than the previous deal.
If you know the next UI athletic director, you are more informed than the rest of us.
My take has always been: The quest is running on parallel tracks, one leading to Colorado AD Rick George and the other involving everyone else, mostly those with Illini backgrounds like Josh Whitman, Larry Lubin and Tom Michael.
All 21 Illinois athletic teams will still see the Nike swoosh on their uniforms, apparel, gear, shoes and specificed equipment and accessories for the next decade.
Illinois extended its partnership with the Beaverton, Ore., company on Tuesday through the 2025-26 school year.
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Is silence an indication the UI is fumbling another ball? Is the search for an athletic director languishing? Isn’t it time we heard something?
No, no and no. In fact, the quest for a successor to Mike Thomas is in good hands ... the strong hands of former Cal-Davis fullback and long-time UI faculty rep Matt Wheeler.
What moments, games, athletes and possibly even more scandal will capture our attention in 2016? Before any can come to fruition, The News-Gazette sports staff looks back at the top 10 stories from the year that was:
Four Illini men’s teams captured runaway Big Ten championships and more last spring.
The UI women haven’t been keeping pace. But they could make a big splash tonight in Des Moines, Iowa. That’s where the university’s pre-eminent female squad, having reached volleyball’s Sweet 16, will try to pull a shocker against Big Ten champion Minnesota.
URBANA — The chairman of the search committee that will recommend candidates for University of Illinois athletic director is no stranger to sports.
Professor Matthew Wheeler, named to head the panel last week, has served on the UI Athletic Board since 1998.