Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Richwoods junior gives UI his word

PEORIA – The last time Jamar Smith talked to Sergio McClain, the Peoria Richwoods star got an earful of recruiting advice from the former Illini.

"He told me, ''Just keep it in Illinois,'' " Smith said. "That was a big thing for me."

Rossow: A little R&R puts Head on straight

CHICAGO – If you think Luther Head was bummed out by the way he was playing basketball earlier this month, you should have seen his face Christmas morning.

He made the Grinch look downright pleasant.

LetterRIP

Several readers gave us their take on whether Illinois should renovate the Assembly Hall or build a new basketball arena. An overwhelming number of responses favored a new arena. Some examples:

FaceOFF

This week''s topic: Should the University of Illinois renovate the Assembly Hall or build a new basketball arena?

Nobody has a better rivalry game than Illinois-Missouri

There are rivalries, and then there''s Braggin'' Rights. - - It''s different from the rest. It''s better.

You know it. Missouri fans know it. You''d better believe the Illini and Tigers know it.

Evanston''s two-way star picks Illinois

EVANSTON – Jody Ellis has committed to play football at Illinois. It''s up to Ron Turner to decide which position the Evanston Township star will play.

The receiver/safety, who visited Illinois last weekend, gave Turner his 22nd commitment.

Parent: Son might press charges

The father of a University of Illinois student says that at least two suspended UI basketball players were among a group of people that broke into his son''s apartment and stole about $3,000 worth of merchandise.

Randy Brown, whose son is a junior at Illinois, said Thursday that Luther Head and Aaron Spears were two of a group of men who broke into his son''s Champaign apartment the morning of Nov. 2 and stole electronic equipment and clothes.

Parent: Son might press for charges

The father of a University of Illinois student says that at least two suspended UI basketball players were among a group of people that broke into his son's apartment and stole about $3,000 worth of merchandise.

Randy Brown, whose son is a junior at Illinois, said Thursday that Luther Head and Aaron Spears were two of a group of men who broke into his son's Champaign apartment the morning of Nov. 2 and stole electronic equipment and clothes.

Rossow: It only can get better for alumni

We''d like to tell you everything is well with your football program. Isn''t that what all alumni want to hear when they come back for homecoming? That and the drinks are on the house, donations aren''t necessary and your kids will never, ever find out about that all-campus toga party you threw.

Besides, if you haven''t been back since last year, you''d probably buy it if we said the Illini are fielding a competitive team. Last time you checked, they were crowning the king, the queen and the Hoosiers in a 45-14 homecoming rout. The way Illinois finished 2002 had a lot of folks other than yourself thinking big this fall.

UI reeling despite highlight

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – In practices leading up to Saturday''s game at Purdue, Illinois assistant coach Greg McMahon told E.B. Halsey he''d return a punt for a touchdown.

"He actually said that," Halsey said, "and I believed him."