Loren Tate

Loren Tate

Tate | Shoe companies hold plenty of recruiting sway

If, by chance, Illinois happens to draw Indiana for its annual December date in Chicago's United Center, you could expect attendance there to quadruple from last year's 5,000 to 20,000.

Tate | Ice, ice baby — time to bring hockey to Illinois

City planners deserve plaudits for the way downtown Champaign has exploded on summer weekends.

That festive atmosphere will be expanded into 25 wintry weekends if $50-plus million can be raised to support Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman's plan for a multi-purpose hockey structure.

Tate | Time to take stock post-NBA draft deadline

NBA draft deadline has passed, so now it's time to take stock

May 30 came and went, and here's what we know.

If your favorite university didn't produce players for the NBA draft — or at least have someone sniffing around before pulling out — your team isn't in the mainstream of NCAA basketball.

Tate | NCAA rules create more confusion than solutions

Sometimes NCAA rules take your breath away.

We'll call this a case of "unintended consequences" as I engaged in my weekly search for Sunday's column material.

Following the Illinois women's tennis team's 4-3 NCAA win over Princeton in Lubbock, Texas — thereby reaching the Round of 32 for only the third time — these thoughts occurred:

Tate | Time for football, basketball to catch up to other UI teams

As is their nature, Illini athletic teams seem proficient in handling the small balls of spring as opposed to the larger, more valued balls of autumn and winter.

Come on, football and basketball, it's time to catch up.

Both men and women squads of golf and tennis have done their job so far, all four qualifying for the NCAA postseason play.

Tate | NCAA system needs a major fix

Some 460,000 student-athletes compete nationally in more than two dozen sports at U.S. colleges throughout the country.

If we can overlook ridiculous coaching salaries, bloated athletic departments and obscene spending on facilities, the NCAA's amateur model is a functioning enterprise, unmatched anywhere in the world.

Tate | Make no mistake, Cubs are for real

Here we are, trying to get past the spring shivers, while a genuine Chicago Cubs dynasty stalls briefly in hopes the summer sun will reset the lagging tone.

Tate | Basketball is America's darling

Quick! Without googling, who is the heavyweight boxing champion of the world?

Doesn't matter, does it? Nobody cares.

This isn't a year in the 1930s when a marauding and incredibly popular Jack Dempsey made more money than Babe Ruth.

Tate | Roster shakeups the norm in today's college hoops

Gone! Swept away by completion of eligibility or the inhalation of greener pastures.

That's the nature of college basketball. Villanova, in celebrant mood, now anxiously awaits the decisions of Mikal Bridges and an already graduated Jalen Brunson.

The shakeup at Illinois is merely part of the roundball earthquake. The 351 rosters may see 1,000 transfers this year.

Tate | Transfer route has become way to go

When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do? — Churchill and others

Like an overripe tomato, redshirting in college basketball is starting to leave a bad taste. Back in the 20th century, basketball teams were usually well-served by the fifth-year maneuver. But no more.

Freshmen insist on playing.