Rossow: Atmosphere could use dose of ´83

   Paul Bunting was as popular as Mike White in 1983. As ticket manager, he''s who folks often sought out in an attempt to get into sold-out Illinois football games. They charmed him, begged him, even tried to bribe him.

    One guy offered me a side of beef. People came up with all different ways to try to get tickets, said Bunting, now retired. Those were crazy times.

Asmussen: 1960 team pulled off rare feat

   In the 1961 Illinois football media guide, there isn''t an entire section dedicated to the ''60 win against Penn State. In fact, it barely rates a mention. If only they knew.

   If only they knew that the 10-8 win would be the only time in history the Illini would sneak past the Nittany Lions.

Choe, Eklov sparkle

   Sophomores Eva Choe and Tiffany Eklov each went undefeated in singles Friday at the Midwest Blast Tournament at Atkins Tennis Center.

   Choe defeated Georgia Tech''s Catherine Gunn 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 and Mason Miller 4-6, 6-1, 10-6.

Illinois men''s basketball practice report

   Byron Irvin, who coached the Illinois All-Stars, might as well have a vote in the coaches'' poll.

Tate: Penn State another big Illini hurdle

   The rolling Illini bandwagon bounced three tenacious monkeys off the back of the bus in recent weeks.

   Fifth-year coach Ron Turner never had beaten Minnesota, Wisconsin or Purdue, and Turner had drawn unfavorable comparisons with rival coaches Glen Mason, Barry Alvarez and Joe Tiller. The UI was 0-3 against the Gophers since 1995, falling by an 81-17 margin the last two years. And Illinois hadn''t beaten Wisconsin since 1992 (0-5-1) or Purdue since 1993 (0-3).

Illini football practice report

   Usually, Ron Turner sees his athletic director every week. But Thursday''s visit by Ron Guenther was the first time Turner had seen him in a while.

Paterno might be making last visit to Champaign

   The winningest coach in the history of Division I-A football will work the sidelines Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

   Catch him while you can, Illini fans, because Joe Paterno might not travel this way again.

When it comes to defense, nobody has better instincts than Illini five

   CHAMPAIGN  They knock balls away like Dikembe Mutombo, return interceptions like Deion Sanders and tackle, sometimes, like Dick Butkus.

   They lead the Big Ten in pass efficiency defense and have the league''s top two players in passes defended.

Hat trick lifts UI to victory

   Freshman Tara Hurless scored three goals to lead Illinois to a 4-1 victory against Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten women''s soccer tournament Thursday in West Lafayette, Ind.

   The Illini, who also received a goal from Laura Freeman on a header, play Michigan today in the semifinals.

Illini not exactly quick out of gate

   CHAMPAIGN  On a night when Illinois raised a Big Ten championship banner, Bill Self learned this, if nothing else: His team is a long way from raising another.

   True, the Illini''s 104-81 win against the Illinois All-Stars on Wednesday night was their first exhibition of the preseason, but third-ranked Illinois hardly exhibited what Self hoped to see.