Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Wed, June 18: Confidence still a plus for ex-Illini

We got an idea how brave Dana Howard was when he told anyone who'd listen that the University of Illinois was going to Columbus, Ohio, and whip Ohio State in football, which the Illini did.

Three years and three National Football League teams later, the linebacker still's talking tough. Tyson tough.

Sun, June 22: Can anyone put an end to UI skid?

There have been longer dry spells.

The Cubs will always make sure of that.

But seven years without a first-round National Basketball Association draft pick is a bit embarrassing by University of Illinois standards. OK, the streak's only six, but unless Kiwane Garris sprouts 4 inches by Wednesday, he's going to land in the second round.

Wed, June 11: Rossow: Time's right to clear up UI schedule

The men's basketball schedule won't be made public for another month or so, but already we have a feel of what Lon Kruger's Illini will face next season.

A shorter Big Ten season. A tougher nonconference season. An uncertain postseason.

To help wade through the muck that is the 1997-98 schedule, a 12-question quiz:

Sun, June 15: Rossow: Dads, kids sweat it out together

He can always use the tie and cologne, but David Sholem's hoping for something different this Father's Day.

Like an ice pack. Or a bottle of aspirin. At least a shoulder rub.

Tues, June 10: Illini awards go to Benion, Berggren

CHAMPAIGN – His competition for next year's Dike Eddleman Athlete of the Year Award can relax. Ernest Benion has run out of eligibility.

His former wrestling teammates best keep on their toes, though. Benion hasn't run out of energy.

Wed, June 4: Rossow: No pain, some gain for UI forward

   The way things are going with small forwards at the University of Illinois, it''s surprising Jerry Hester didn''t twist an ankle or sprain a thumb over the weekend.

Sat, June 7: Rossow: Jazz coach still counts as ex-Illini

   Former Illini winning NBA titles is a rare thing.

   In an effort to improve the sorry ratio  no coach and only three players have pulled it off in 50 years  we''ll allow Jerry Sloan in the club, even though he spent less than a semester on campus in 1960.

Sun, June 8: 1996-97 winners and losers, Illinois style

   Just another dull year on campus.

   One football coach gets fired, one gets hired. Sixteen thousand-plus show up for a women''s basketball game. Fans start caring about wrestling and men''s tennis.

   And Peoria Manual basketball.

   Illinois has the best men''s tennis team in the Big Ten. And one of the worst women''s track seasons.

   Bryant Notree says he''s leaving, then staying, then leaving. Which is what Erin Borske did and Cyron Brown, Marquis Mosely and Will Smith plan to do. At least Robert Holcombe''s staying.

   Without further adieu, our award winners:

Sun, June 8: Expectations now high for Illini athletic programs

   There is no better barometer of the University of Illinois athletic program than Mark Johnson''s comments at March''s NCAA wrestling championships in Iowa.

   He was despondent about finishing ninth. In the nation, not the Big Ten.

Sun, June 8: Rossow: Guenther on last lap at Illinois

   You worry when Lon Kruger''s name comes up when the Kentucky job opens.

   You fret about losing Mark Johnson to another wrestling program, Theresa Grentz to a women''s professional basketball league. In a few years, Ron Turner may be the hottest item among National Football League decision-makers.

   And how long will Craig Tiley last at the University of Illinois, considering his remarkable work with the men''s tennis program?

   Legitimate concerns, all of them.

   Here''s another one, a size or two bigger than the rest:

   Who will replace Ron Guenther as athletic director?