Randle ready to be the leader of Illinois' pack

You send a center to a big-man camp. You send a point guard off to run a summer team.

And leaders?

You send them to leadership camp.

Sort of.

Former Illini earns crown

GALESBURG – Former Illinois golfer Megan Godfrey and former Illinois coach Paula Smith now share another connection: They're both Illinois Women's Golf Association amateur champions.

Godfrey, a four-year letter winner for the Illini, defeated St. Charles' Lauren May 7 and 6 on Friday to claim the title at Soangetaha Country Club. Smith won the titles in 1971 and '72.

Seven up

Things to know about today's 7-on-7 football camp at Illinois:

Ginn's bus tour connecting preps, college coaches

CHAMPAIGN – His son is a Heisman Trophy candidate for a national championship contender. His high school program is regarded as one of the Midwest's best.

Yet Ted Ginn Sr. doesn't want to be known because of his football feats. He wants to be recognized because of his connection to kids.

Crowd starting to form at Savoy

SAVOY –On the day before the UI Open, the most commonly asked question of Mike Wallner usually is "When's my tee time?"

Not this year.

Godfrey reaches final

GALESBURG – Megan Godfrey's 4-and-3 victory against former UIteammate Nancy Featherstone in the quarterfinals propelled the former Illini into the finals of the IWGAState Amateur at Soangetaha Country Club on Thursday.

Godfrey went on to beat Mary Jacobs 1-up in the semifinals to earn a berth in today's 18-hole championship flight final against Lauren May.

Tirapelle earns honor

Illinois senior wrestler Alex Tirapelle was named a first-team Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine.

Tirapelle ranks No. 1 on Illinois' all-time wins list with 128.

Illini to open under lights

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois will open the 2006 football season under the lights at Memorial Stadium.

Illinois' season opener against Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 2 will kickoff at 6 p.m. Fireworks will follow the game.

Former Illini Hopkins retires from NFL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Left tackle Brad Hopkins retired Wednesday after 13 seasons, deciding to leave the game rather than play for a team other than the one that drafted him.

The Tennessee Titans released the former Illini in March for salary cap reasons. He talked with the New York Jets, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons and an undisclosed fourth team but chose to stay in Nashville with his wife and four children.

Lama takes over at North Texas State

DENTON, Texas — Sujay Lama, who had coached tennis for 15 consecutive years, was looking forward to taking a year off.

North Texas State athletic director Rick Villarreal, armed with a new tennis complex and a five-year contract, changed his mind.