Survey says

   We''ve asked Illinois football players for some of their favorites. Today''s panelists:


Ruling leaves Illinois waiting, wondering

   CHAMPAIGN  It''s supposed to be a basketball schedule. You get a few home games, a neutral-site deal or two and you''re good to go.

   Instead, Bruce Weber has an introductory law class.

Tate: Wright stuff: Trip made IIlini better

   What you don''t know about Urbana''s James Wright  and he''d rather you didn''t  is that he was Harry Combes'' favorite to succeed him as Illini basketball coach in 1967.

   Combes'' recommendation carried major influence after a remarkable career that included three Final Fours and four Big Ten titles, but Wright declined. He already was mixing insurance sales with his assistant coaching duties, and he knew where the money was. Even head coaches weren''t making that much (less than $20,000) in those days.

Ask Bobby

Bob Asmussen, who covers Illinois football for The News-Gazette, will take your questions via e-mail throughout the 2003 season. E-mail him at, and he''ll get back to you as soon as possible.

If your question is really good, we''ll run it in our upcoming sports opinion page, which will appear each Monday starting Sept. 1.

Be our guess

A year after winning the Big Ten, the Illinois football team stumbled to a 5-7 season and stayed home for the holidays. Can the team get back on the winning track? To register your prediction of Illinois'' record during the 12-game season, log onto The N-G Web site at and click on the proper link. Mail a response to The News-Gazette at 15 Main St., Champaign, IL 61824 or e-mail Today''s selections:

Camp Rantoul

In the news

   Illinois football players tend to cringe when coach Ron Turner calls them early in the morning and tells them to meet him in his office. But that''s just what happened to then receiver Eric McGoey midway through last season.

By virtue of patience

   CHAMPAIGN  For two seasons she played the role of Wisconsin''s Lizzy Fitzgerald or Minnesota''s Lindsey Berg or Penn State''s Sam Tortorello during Illinois volleyball practices.

   Erin Virtue even portrayed her own sister, Katie, whenever the Illini prepared to play Ohio State.

Survey says

   We''ve asked Illinois football players for some of their favorites. Today''s panelists:

Brasic making his push

   RANTOUL  When he came to Illinois last fall, Tim Brasic was a skinny kid with a strong arm, no scholarship and a long climb to the top of the depth chart.

   A year later, the redshirt freshman is getting extensive work with the second team and is in a three-way race for the No. 2 quarterback spot behind starter Jon Beutjer. Brasic, who has earned a scholarship, has made up ground on senior Dustin Ward and classmate Chris Pazan for the backup job.

Bulls counting on Gill to provide leadership

   The Chicago Bulls signed free agent Kendall Gill, a former Illini, on Wednesday.

   The 6-foot-5 guard has played 13 seasons, averaging nearly 14 points and four rebounds a game during his career.