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The names William May and Wilbur Burroughs likely aren’t familiar to fans of the Illini, but the truth is that they stand alone in their uniqueness. One-hundred-thirteen years ago, this highly anonymous pair was the first with University of Illinois ties to compete in modern Olympic Games.

It is an admirable move by the UI athletic department to provide a marketing platform — in this case Opendorse — to help student-athletes maximize earning potential ... within acceptable limits.

Several outstanding Illini athletes during the 1954-55 school year thrived on the University of Illinois campus — football’s Bobby Mitchell, basketball’s Paul Judson, and track and field’s Willard Thomson to name three — but there was another lesser known star who rose to the very top of his…

And what a school year it was. The News-Gazette sports staff takes a look back — and a look ahead — at Illinois athletics.