CHAMPAIGN – On Saturday and Sunday, you will see them firing passes at Memorial Stadium. A year from now, you will see them on rosters in the Big Ten, SEC, Big East and MAC.
When the Illinois 7-on-7 tournament and quarterback camps are held this weekend, they will bring together one of the best classes of throwers in C-U history.
Sophomore gymnast Justin Spring and junior goalkeeper Leisha Alcia received the Dike Eddleman Awards for the 2003-2004 season, the prize given to the top male and female athletes at Illinois each year.
Spring is the first gymnast to win the award since David Zeddies in 1989, the last time Illinois won the national team championship.
Guard Missy Mitidiero has left the Illinois women''s basketball team and will play at DePaul.
Mitidiero, a 5-foot-3 freshman from Marian Catholic, played in 12 games, averaging seven minutes. She made 9 of 18 field goals, including 8 of 16 three-pointers, for a 2.3 scoring average.
Illinois gymnast Bob Rogers was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America''s Academic All-America University Division At-Large first team.
Rogers won the 2004 NCAA title in pommel horse and helped the Illini to a third-place finish at the NCAA championships.
News-Gazette staff writer Brett Dawson ranks each Big Ten basketball program''s offseason so far:
CHAMPAIGN – Sitting in the bleachers at Lincoln-Way High School, Tom Richardson started to sweat.
This was three years ago, and Richardson, then the coach at Illinois State, was watching Marcus Arnold – a player he desperately hoped to sign – in a holiday high school basketball tournament.
CHAMPAIGN – Bruce Weber''s resume looks better than it did this time last year.
His contract is about to follow suit.
SAVOY – Rich Wooley doesn''t necessarily play to win when he signs up for the UI Open – at least not in the championship flight.
At 65, Wooley, who loves to play golf and is a multiple UI Course club champion, does not have a clouded picture of reality. And it won''t change this weekend when he tees it up at the 51st UI Open at the Orange Course in Savoy.
We asked our online readers for their favorite Illinois moments in the 2003-04 season. Some responses:
It will be a while before Marcus Arnold can suit up in orange and blue, but the former Illinois State forward should be an Illini by the end of the day.
Arnold, a 6-foot-8 forward who played his first two seasons for the Redbirds, is expected to announce his transfer to Illinois today, the first day of the university''s second summer school session.