Matha hurt during drill

   Illinois defensive tackle Ryan Matha sustained a knee injury during Tuesday''s practice.


Tate: Time´s ripe for replay in Big Ten

   Watching Sunday''s Green Bay-New England game on TV, enlightenment descended like a bomb into the living room.

   The guys in the striped shirts have impossible jobs. If you''re depending on human eyesight to make the right calls, you''re going to be disappointed. It''s not possible. The best officials that money can buy, having sold their decisions with decisive on-field rulings, were overruled by instant replay.

Cook, by a nose

   CHAMPAIGN  Brian Cook wants to be a tougher player as a senior, an all-out hard-nosed leader.

   So far, he''s doing fine. Except for the hard-nosed part.

Tate: Dark clouds obscuring Illinois win

   CHAMPAIGN  If the Illinois football team beat Purdue in an overtime thriller Saturday, why don''t we feel better about it?

   It was a breakthrough, right? It was the high point in a down season. We''ll go from here. Beat Indiana and Ron Turner''s gang is .500 in the Big Ten.

UI Men''s Basketball Practice Report

   Practice 101

   Welcome to college basketball, James Augustine. And Aaron Spears and Deron Williams, et al.

   As talented as Illinois'' freshmen class is, it''s still learning the ropes of college hoops, and that includes finding out the effort required at practice.

UI´s Webber shares conference award

   Sue Webber was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday after leading Illinois to an upset victory Saturday against sixth-ranked Minnesota in volleyball.

   The Illini senior, who shared the award with Ohio State''s Stacey Gordon, racked up a career-high 26 digs and a season-high 22 kills in a five-game victory against the Gophers.

UI aide tops at marathon

   Illinois assistant coach Adam Bleakney won the men''s wheelchair division Sunday at the Chicago Marathon.

   Bleakney finished the race in 1 hour, 36 minutes, 45 seconds, beating UI alumni Tony Iniguez to the tape by 5 seconds. Illini freshman Josh George was fourth in 1:55:00, also qualifying for the Boston Marathon in April.

UI tennis players off to championship-level start

   CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.  Win one, lose one.

   For Illinois tennis player Amer Delic, Sunday was all about national championships, and he batted .500 with the help of a friend.

Quarterback Ward rewards coaches for their confidence in him

   CHAMPAIGN  Ron Turner will be the first to admit Dustin Ward didn''t play a perfect game Saturday against Purdue. But the Illinois coach sure liked the final results.

   The junior from Centennial forced a second-quarter pass that was intercepted. The Boilermakers turned the mistake into three points.

Near-misses wear on Purdue

   CHAMPAIGN  Purdue thought it had won Saturday''s game in regulation. Twice.

   The Boilermakers thought they stopped Antoineo Harris short of the goal line on his fourth-down, game-tying plunge with three seconds left.