Linking Illini New Year's Grab Bag: Plenty of things to start off 2012
Who would have thought that an epic basketball loss and an epic Illinois Bowl win would generate so much news particulate?
Remember the fracas over the assistant coaches threatening to boycott? Remember how that was a small story a few days ago but no one in the local media would run with it? Remember then how suddenly Pat Forde ran the thing and it got to be a big deal? Well on the one hand I feel bad for the coaches who thought they were getting one year's worth of salary but ended up not, but on the other hand I can't really relate to having a contract buyout worth thousands of dollars in the first place.
New coach Tim Beckman has added another coach to his staff in the form of Illinois alum and football royalty Luke Butkus. You may remember look as the starting center for our 2001 Big Ten Champion Illini, and as the nephew of Dick Butkus, who once roamed the Champaign Urbana landscape tackling trees with all of his might. We will probably know the rest of Beckman's staff in not too long now, as the bulk of the bowls yet to be played happen tomorrow. The date to look to now is Jan 16, when Beckman fully assumes his role as head football coach, and our beloved Coach Vic steps aside.
It can't all be sunshine and roses though. We did after all have a massive let down against Purdue yesterday, and as can be expected there is plenty of hand wringing going on.
Paul Klee: The Boilers have won 26 straight at Mackey. But it was the first time this season the Illini weren't competitive against players that shouldn't be better than their own.
AND the Tribune: "There's not much you can say," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "The start of the second half … they've done that four or five times in a row where they just take it to us. We've had trouble taking care of the basketball and it continued."
And so on. It was a bad loss. One that will need some meditation and probably a well thought out review tomorrow.
Happy New Year, Illini fans, lets hope 2012 is less angsty than the last five have been.
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