Illini (Coaching) Standards Out Of Whack

TBToday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) Does the University of Illinois need to loosen its stringent admissions standards for athletes in order to compete at football’s highest level?

Or does it instead need to elevate its standards for hiring football coaches?

Based on more than two decades of watching Illini teams play largely subpar football since coach John Mackovic left Champaign in 1991, I tend to vote for the latter. However, last week, veteran Illini scribe Loren Tate argued for the former through an in-depth and informative three-part series of columns for the Champaign News-Gazette.

In the series’ first part, entitled “UI standards out of whack,” Tate writes that, “While the UI is recognized with Michigan and Wisconsin nationally and internationally for their greatness as research institutions, Illinois is far behind athletically. Wins, resources, prospects, attendance … Illinois is behind.

“And part of the reason – emphasis on PART because there are many reasons – is the academic gap between NCAA qualifying standards and the level the UI insists upon.”

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