Sports trumps all in Big Ten salaries

With the ink still fresh on Lovie Smith's six-year deal and the UI now searching for a permanent chancellor, The News-Gazette obtained and analyzed

Asmussen: Future is in Lovie's hands

For the 2016 Illinois football team, the hay is in the barn (Midwest term).

Wes Lunt will be the quarterback and Ke’Shawn Vaughn the running back. The defensive line is loaded with potential, and the offensive line is solid. Linebacker just got a lot better with the spring acquisition of Hardy Nickerson — the player and the coach.

Bloch-Jones improves on finish

EUGENE, Ore. — Kandie Bloch-Jones cleared 5 feet, 10 inches on her third try Saturday in the women’s high jump at the NCAA track and field championships. But that was as high as the Illinois junior would leap.

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: Happy birthday, Karen Brems!

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.

Asmussen: Boese pumped up about job

CHAMPAIGN — After the call came, Joey Boese was pumped up. Lift-the-car pumped up, which he could probably do.

It was new Illinois coach Lovie Smith, and he wanted Boese to join him in Champaign-Urbana as the head strength and conditioning coach.

Chastain aids All-Star victory

PONTIAC — Representing LeRoy boys’ basketball one last time, future Loyola Chicago hoopster Matt Chastain tallied 13 points as the boys’ Class 1A/2A North team defeated the South squad 107-95 on Saturday in one of four Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-Star games.

2016 All-Area Girls' Soccer: Big 12 All-Conference Team

SENIORS: Kenna Carew, Notre Dame; Savanna Fleeman, Notre Dame; Lauren Harrigan, Normal Community; Allison Hieb, Normal West; Alexis Hoskins, Danville; Kate Lorenz, Normal West; Brittney Peden, Bloomington; Sierra Poor, Urbana

2016 All-Area Girls' Soccer: Final statistics

Athlete, School    Goals

W. Olson, Centennial    29
Johnson-Monfort, Mahomet-Seymour    24
Geubelle, St. Thomas More    19
Woods, Centennial    18
Maupin, Monticello    17
Schmitt, St. Thomas More    13

2016 All-Area Girls' Soccer COY: Centennial's Jim Meissen

Why he’s Coach of the Year: Meissen, in his second season with Centennial, helped engineer a nine-win turnaround for the Chargers, who finished 19-5 and won a Class 2A regional title before losing in a sectional semifinal match.

Illini target 2019 point guard

CHAMPAIGN — Marquise Walker made an unofficial visit to Illinois on Saturday, and the Westchester St. Joseph point guard and Class of 2019 prospect didn’t leave campus empty handed.

Walker received his first scholarship offer from Illinois coach John Groce on the visit, as first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael O’Brien.