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Sports

Commitments to Illinois football team Class of 2004

The following players have given commitments to the Illinois football team for the Class of 2004:

On even keel

Despite setting a school record for team score last weekend, the Illinois men''s gymnastics team remained third in this week''s national rankings.

With rankings based on total season average, the Illini are barely out of the lead at 215.367. Ohio State ranks first at 215.767, while Penn State is No. 2 at 215.583. Illinois'' average includes a 218.900 on Sunday against Minnesota, the program''s highest score since the NCAA adopted international scoring rules in 2001.

Tate: Righting UI falls mostly on veterans

Ohioan Brock Bolen is enrolled and eager to display his fullback skills, and hopes are high for kicker Jason Reda of Rock Island.

There will be freshman contributors besides these, but Ron Turner''s quest to bring Illinois back from the dead will rely chiefly on returnees responsible for a 1-11 season in 2003.

Illini pointing to injuries

It turns out James Augustine''s bruised hip is a hip pointer, and the Illinois forward will take advantage of the Illini''s week off to give it a rest.

Tate: Indiana gain is Big Ten''s indictment

If Indiana defeats visiting Purdue tonight, it will be the biggest blow to Big Ten basketball prestige since Corky Taylor, Ron Behagen and Minnesota tried to use Ohio State''s Luke Witte as a football in the early 1970s.

OK, that''s an exaggeration. The once-lost Hoosiers appear to be chopping their way out of the forest. With four straight wins, they''re tied for the Big Ten lead. But imagine what the nation is thinking. This is a Hoosier team that lost to Vanderbilt by 13, Wake Forest by 33, Kentucky by 39 and Wisconsin by 34. This is a team that lost 59-50 at home to Temple (6-9).

With sixth-year pair, every day is Veterans Day

When the young guys shout "Gramps" or "Geezer" at Illinois football practices, quarterback Jon Beutjer won''t be the only one turning around.

Illinois'' first six-year man, Beutjer, will be joined by a second. As expected, defensive end Mike O''Brien was granted a rare sixth year of eligibility Monday by the NCAA.

Illini target stays home

The lure of a home-state school proved too tempting for Rajon Rondo.

The 6-foot-2 point guard from Louisville, Ky., an Illinois recruiting target, has given an oral commitment to play basketball at Kentucky.

Ask Brett

During college basketball season, Brett Dawson, our resident expert, will answer a question each week on his specialty. This week''s question:

Journell''s entry makes for exciting first year

CHAMPAIGN – For Jimmy Journell, life doesn''t get much better than it did during 2003.

It was the year the former Illinois All-American realized a childhood dream by making his major league baseball debut. The year, too, that the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher got married.

Illini wrestlers making most of Big Ten road

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Illinois'' third-ranked wrestlers are getting their Big Ten road work done, and they''re setting up their league schedule for a fantastic finish.

The Illini (8-0, 2-0 Big Ten) beat up on 24th-ranked Michigan State 22-10 on Sunday, winning seven of 10 matches. After trips next weekend to Indiana and Northwestern, the UI will finish the regular season with four home matches.