Illini Insider

   News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth''s weekly review and preview of Illinois sports.

Longtime Illini running coach plans to retire

   When you''ve been doing the same job at the same place for more than 35 years, it begs the question:

   Do you ever get bored?

Waiting anxiously

   ANN ARBOR, Mich.  As the clock ticked away early in the evening on Jan. 1, 1998, Lloyd Carr accomplished something Bo Schembechler couldn''t. Or any other coach in 49 years at Michigan. He won a national title.

   At a school that fills its stadium with 110,000 fans each home Saturday, the obvious question was, Hey, Coach Carr, when are you going to win No. 2?

Sloppy start no reason for UI panic

   It was just eight months ago that Bill Self''s defending Big Ten basketball co-champions were teetering with a 3-5 Big Ten record, having fallen at Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Ohio State and  gasp  seeing their Assembly Hall winning streak snapped by Michigan State 67-61.

   Did Self shake up the lineup? Did he start playing youngsters in anticipation of next season? Was he discouraged by the fans'' fainting spells?

Steelers waive former Illini

   Tight end Matt Cushing, a former Illini, was cut Tuesday by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

   Cushing, a third-year player who originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in April 1988, was one of four tight ends to make the Steelers'' 53-man roster. He was inactive for the Steelers'' first two games of the 2002 season.

Season tickets available

   Illinois is accepting a limited number of new season ticket orders for the 2002-03 men''s basketball season.

   New orders will be taken beginning today through the UI Athletics Ticket Office. For information, call (217) 333-3470.

Illinois Football Practice Report

   Brett Kautter didn''t make the trip to Michigan in 1999. An injury kept the defensive tackle at home. But he remembers the Sunday before the Michigan game, when the Illini had a full-scale scrimmage one day after getting blown out by Minnesota.

A few minutes with...

   Michigan alum and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Dierdorf

Carr hops on Turner´s bandwagon

   CHAMPAIGN  Ron Turner might have gained himself an unexpected ally in his push for instant replay: Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.

   Not a big fan of the idea in the past, Carr is changing his mind.

Tate: UI problems on defense are old news

   It wasn''t an overnight disappearing act by the Illini defense Saturday.

   In a stretch of 10 games  a period that once comprised an entire season  Illinois has given up 3,634 yards and 274 points. For those who didn''t pass Math 101, that''s 363 yards and 27 points a game. By comparison, this week''s opponent, Michigan, didn''t give up 27 points in any of eight Big Ten games last season and has held four nonconference foes to 18 on average this season.