The WISCH LIST
By Dave Wischnowsky
Thursday was Campus Move-In Day for incoming freshmen at the University of Illinois. Over the next several months that will be followed by Campus Move-Out Days for big names in the school’s athletic department.
At least, that’s my suspicion.
And, honestly at this point, probably Illinois’ best hope.
Anyone who knows me online, in real life or through this newspaper column knows about my passion for U. of I., from which I graduated in 1998. If you cut one of my wrists, it will bleed orange. If you cut the other, it will bleed blue (both Illini and Cubbie). I love my alma mater.
But I’m disappointed in it. I’m frustrated with it. And I’m not alone.
I want to see Illinois get its house in order. And in regards to its athletic department, that may require completely cleaning it, as in recent months its revenue sports programs have metastasized from vexing underachievers into full-blown embarrassments.
This past March in a piece for CBSChicago.com, I wrote that, “In a perfect Illini world, Tim Beckman would roll to a Rose Bowl next January and John Groce would follow up with a Final Four run in March. But as any University of Illinois fan knows all too well, we don’t live in a perfect Illini world. Instead, we live in the one created three years ago by athletic director Mike Thomas. And right now, it’s in a world of hurt.”
Five months later, that’s become an entire universe.