On this date 73 years ago today in University of Illinois football history — Sept. 27, 1947 — the defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions opened their season with a less-than-impressive 14-0 victory over the Pitt Panthers at Memorial Stadium

UI forest plantation's name change, mental health care for Illinois prison inmates, a Jackie Robinson parking lot at the UI, crops at Parkland, a Champaign liquor store in trouble, poor landscaping around public art in C-U, , fast food choice in Tuscola and much more.

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Top moments? Top performances? There were plenty of them. Beat writer Scott Richey highlights the best and brightest teams, coaches and athletes from the past 12 months on the Illinois athletics scene — and also looks ahead to what is sure to be an unprecedented year due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Illinois athletics beat writer Scott Richey weighs in with his marks for all 19 Illini teams during the 2019-20 season

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman has made facility upgrades a key part of his four-plus years in charge of the Illini athletic department.

Cassie Arner is the associate athletic director for marketing, fan development and strategic communication within the Illinois athletic department. She's also a 46-year-old white woman who is the mother of a 16-year-old black son, Clevel, and has spent most of his life learning about what life is like from his eyes. 'I had to learn everything I could. I needed to be fully educated so I could understand and advocate for him.'