Weber has close encounters

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Just when Mardee Weber was getting the hang of her son's pitching credentials, the New York Yankees went and changed his role.

"She's still basically on starter's lingo," Brett Weber said. " 'Did you get another win?' No, Mom. Now I get saves.' "

UI telecasts could drop to '90s low

Once a year, I like to pretend to be a network television official. I figure out which Big Ten football games you can expect to see during the 1999 season.

OK, it sounds like a good way to kill 30 minutes. But are there any practical uses?

Illini volleyball team earns rank

The Illinois volleyball team, ranked 14th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll released Thursday, will hold a "Meet the Team Night" at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Huff Hall. Fans are invited to talk to the players and coaching staff, collect autographs and watch a team scrimmage that will begin at 7 p.m.

Scott, Lewis earn Illinois scholarships

CHAMPAIGN – During practices, they work hard to make their teammates better. Today, Brian Scott and Ivery Lewis were rewarded for their efforts.

The Illinois seniors have been awarded scholarships for the 1999-00 school year. Both players spent four years with the team as walk-ons.

Illini get settled at Camp Rantoul

RANTOUL – There wasn't a long line as the check-in table opened Wednesday at Camp Rantoul. There was no line at all.

The Illinois football players took their time reporting for the start of training camp. They had from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., so there was no hurry.

Illini swimmers, Johnson second

Three Illinois swimmers and former Centennial standout Rachel Johnson combined to finish second this week in the U.S. 5K Open Water National Championships at Long Lake, Minn.

UI's Harris quick to act after delay

Do not be surprised Antoineo Harris stood out among the Illinois newcomers who practiced earlier this week at Memorial Stadium.

The kid's never been shy when it comes to introductions.

Tate: UI freshman continues pipeline

Jerry Schumacher recalls a picture in football coach Frank Lenti's office showing nine Chicago Mount Carmel athletes in Illini uniforms.

"For all those guys to go there, the University of Illinois must be a pretty good place," Schumacher thought at the time.

News and notes from Tuesday's UI practices:

- LONELY GUY: While most of the Illinois assistants worked with three or four players Tuesday, tight ends coach Greg McMahon had only one player under his command: Ken Boyle.

The News-Gazette All-Stater from Springfield liked the special attention.

Trying the transfers

CHAMPAIGN – Last summer, it was easy enough to pick out the junior college players on the Illinois football team. They hung out together on the field. At the same positions.

Four junior college receivers and two defensive backs entered Camp Rantoul. Only two, defensive backs Johnny Rogers and Johnnie Harris, are back this season.