News-Gazette Grades

Our annual report card on Illinois athletics. The rundown:

Rossow: Forward thinking for Illinois

We''d like more than three minutes of sports on local TV, a season pass to the new indoor golf facility and one of those parking spots next to the stadium. But that''s not going to happen.

Here are some more reasonable requests as Illinois steams toward another school year (football practice starts in 56 days).

Illinois quartet leads All-America parade

Four Illini earned All-America honors at Saturday''s NCAA Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas.

Adrian Walker was seventh in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 50.42 seconds. Teammate Abe Reed-Jones was eighth in 50.56.

Tennis courtship still going strong

CHAMPAIGN – There will be no briefcase-toting business trips into the Chicago Loop. No suit-and-tie lunches with the big boss.

Brian Wilson''s career clothing choice is more Nike than Armani. Sneakers and sweatbands will be much more useful than Brooks Brothers.

Dawson: Weber likes idea of well-done arena

Bruce Weber just moved his family into a house built to his specifications. In the not-too-distant future, he could move his team into one, too.

Though there''s still no official word from Illinois about the future of its basketball facility – the Assembly Hall renovation vs. new construction debate rages on – Weber expects an announcement before the new school year begins.

The envelope, please - Illinois year in review

A look back at the winners and losers, Illinois style.

Former Illini Dikmen not your prototypical sports fan

In a country where soccer is king and three-time Olympic weightlifting champion Naim Suleymanoglu is revered, the Dikmen family always has traveled the less-beaten sports path.

When Atilla Dikmen sits down for an hour or two of televised sports, his viewing pleasure is tennis. Ilknur Dikmen''s choice of sport in high school was basketball.

Patience pays off for volleyball star

CHAMPAIGN – The surprise about Lisa Argabright''s Illinois volleyball career isn''t that she became an All-American. Or a three-year starter. Or that she returned from a devastating elbow injury.

No, the surprise is that she survived the first two weeks of school.

Asmussen: Quarterback glad to get an early football start at Illinois

Billy Garza didn''t need to be here. He could be home in Brownsville, Texas, hanging out with his pals for one last summer.

But when the chance to spend a month at his future home came, the incoming Illinois quarterback couldn''t pass it up.

Illini hurdlers together again

AUSTIN, Texas – Illinois super sophomore 400-meter hurdlers Abe Reed-Jones and Adrian Walker continued their stellar seasons at the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Friday night.

Reed-Jones finished third in the first heat in 50.00 seconds, and Walker finished second in the third heat in 50.28 seconds as both qualified for today''s event finals.