Asmussen: Big Ten TV deal nearly perfect

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.

Illini legends, lists and lore: Luke Butkus

Celebrating his 37th birthday Sunday is former University of Illinois player and current Illini football assistant coach Luke Butkus.

Named to head coach Lovie Smith’s staff on March 10, Butkus returned to the Champaign-Urbana campus as offensive line coach. He also served in that capacity during the 2012 season for coach Tim Beckman.

Illini legends, lists and lore: Rashard Mendenhall

Rashard Mendenhall’s performance in 2007 was one for the books … the Illini record books. Rushing for a UI single-season best 1,681 yards, the junior from Niles West High School broke Antoineo Harris’ mark by an amazing 351 yards.

Martinez, Birks capture Dike Eddleman Awards

Wrestler Isaiah Martinez and volleyball player Jocleynn Birks were named the University of Illinois’ top male and female athletes Thursday. Here are some reasons why they were selected:

Zika not focus for UI athletes aiming for Rio

The big question leading up to this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games isn't so much about who'll take the gold but who'll brave the country at the epicenter of the Zika virus outbreak.

Diab, Poulter rate honors

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.

Illini legends, lists and lore: UI-Penn State connection

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.

Asmussen: Hood could help 'sleeping giant' in C-U

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.

Illini legends, lists and lore: Mark Koster

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.

Illini roundup: Volleyball schedule released

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois volleyball team will play a dozen NCAA tournament teams this fall, including eight during the Big Ten portion of the schedule.