Citrus Bowl Illinois Virginia 1990

Illinois quarterback Jeff George (11) stuffs the ball in the face of Virginia defensive end Ray Savage (56) after Savage made a late hit on George after the ball was called dead in the first quarter during Citrus Bowl game, Jan. 1, 1990 in Orlando, Florida. Offsetting penalties were called against both teams in the incident. Illinois defeated Virginia 31-21. (AP Photo/Craig Bailey)

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During the six decades of Loren Tate’s service as a reporter for The News-Gazette, he has chronicled a myriad of Illini athletic competitions and events for the Champaign-Urbana community.

As part of The News-Gazette’s special section about its Hall of Famer, we were asked to gather a list of notable Illini experiences each year that have happened over the last half-century of Tate’s employment.

Over the next 55 days, we will looking back at some notable moments in Illini history. Up next: 1990

Jan. 1: In Orlando, the Illini football team bowled over 10-1 Virginia by a score of 31-21. It was quarterback Jeff George’s final collegiate game. On April 22, he became the first overall pick in the NFL draft.

April 16: Champaign’s Jean Driscoll won the women’s wheelchair division of the 94th Boston Marathon in a time of 1:43.17. She went on to win six more Marathon titles.

June 27: Three Illini basketball players were among the first 42 chosen at the NBA Draft. Kendall Gill went fifth, Steve Bardo 41st and Marcus Liberty 42nd.

Sept. 1: Richard “Itch” Jones was named to head Illinois’ baseball program.

Sept. 4: Huff Hall debuted as the home of Illini volleyball. UI basketball’s famed ‘Whiz Kids’ were on hand for the special occasion.

Sept. 15: In its Centennial season, a large group of pre-1950s Illini players reunited to watch the 1990 squad rally and beat No. 11 Colorado, 23-22. CU would go on to be named national champs.

Sept. 22: Against visiting Southern Illinois, Howard Griffith became the first player in NCAA Division IA football history to score eight touchdowns in a single game.

Nov. 7: Despite finding Illinois not guilty of any of the original charges brought against the men’s basketball program, the NCAA announced harsh penalties against the university on what it called “lack of institutional control.”

Nov. 24: Howard Griffith rushed for 263 yards in a 28-23 home win over Northwestern. The victory yielded Illinois a share of the Big Ten title.

Dec. 22: Tenth-ranked LSU, featuring sophomore center Shaquille O’Neal, departed the Assembly Hall with 102-96 loss.

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