Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

5 O'Clock Shadow

News you can't leave work without:

Itch Jones still loves his baseball. So it's logical that the retired Hall of Famer is being courted by C-U Little League officials to become involved in the youth scene around town. I talked to Itch about it at a recent golf outing, and he seemed interested in helping out. His involvement would provide a huge boost for a Little League program that is in a struggle to stay relevant as travel teams continue to prosper.

Small gives Illini green light

EAST LANSING, Mich. – As his first-place team boarded a van on the way to dinner Friday night, Illinois men's golf coach Mike Small delivered his pep talk. Minus the pep.

"I told them, 'Today never happened. It never existed,' " Small said. "I didn't want them thinking or talking about it anymore."

M-S job has much to offer

MAHOMET – Under Tom Shallenberger, Mahomet- Seymour football remained a playoff fixture.

That's one reason why athletic director Matt Hensley won't lack for candidates to replace Shallenberger, who next school year will become principal at Fisher junior and senior high school.

Five players to miss spring practice to focus on classes

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois football coach Ron Zook said today that five players will miss spring practice to concentrate on academics.

Defensive end Jerry Brown, receiver Brian Gamble, cornerback Marcus Thomas and offensive linemen Mark Jackson and Brandon Jordan will not participate in drills that start Wednesday.

Big Ten basketball

Want to know which of this week's games are worth your time? Here's the scoop from sports editor Jim Rossow, who will not be rehired after another disappointing 5-5 week:

Ten questions for Lou Henson

Dick Vitale says he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but the legendary coach won't toot his own horn. The ninth-winningest coach in college basketball would rather talk about the Big Ten race than his myriad accomplishments. Sports editor Jim Rossow caught up to the 76-year-old coming off a Las Cruces, N.M., golf course Thursday to discuss his battle against cancer, the Illini's struggles and aging gracefully.

Big Ten basketball

Want to know which of this week's games are worth your time? Here's the scoop from sports editor Jim Rossow, who has agreed to a $10 buyout from The News-Gazette after a disastrous 5-5 week:

Big Ten basketball

Want to know which of this week's games are worth your time? Here's the scoop from sports editor Jim Rossow, who went 8-2 last week without making improper phone calls:

Ten questions for Don Fischer

No one has a better view of the Kelvin Sampson fiasco than the dean of Big Ten radio. In his 35th year as voice of the Hoosiers, the Illinois native has had plenty to talk about, from Indiana's rise in the rankings to its fall from grace. Sports editor Jim Rossow caught up with Fischer this week to discuss Bob Knight, unruly fans and Eric Gordon's future.

Ten questions for Rich Falk

An associate commissioner with the Big Ten, the former 1,000-point scorer and third-winningest coach at Northwestern does a little bit of everything for Jim Delany, including running the league's men's basketball tournament. But it's his role as director of officiating that draws the most attention. Falk, who attended last week's Indiana-Illinois game, selects, trains and grades the Big Ten crews, charting every call anyone makes. He took time this week to discuss his role in Illinois history, Chester Frazier's chest bump and referees' schedules with sports editor Jim Rossow: