Mikey Dudek's surgery to repair his torn ACL "went excellent," according to his father, Rick.
So apparently Dr. James Andrews is still really good at surgery. Fighting Illini fans will be very glad of this fact in about, oh, 18 months, when Dudek is able to take the field again (barring ... ya know what, let's not go there). Dudek's father sent word to Scout that his son's surgery went off without a hitch and, furthermore, that Dudek was getting swole before the operation with some upper-body workouts. That's a good thing, as it speaks to his high spirits — I mean, I've been too sad to workout since hearing the news — and determination to literally come back strong.
It's not at all a surprise that we're hearing good things about how the operation went, but any time you can put "good news" and "Mikey Dudek" in the same sentence right now, you write that sentence. While Dudek will have gone 32 months between games by the time he suits up on a Saturday again (Dec. 26, 2014 to Sep. 2, 2017 — wow), we can be reasonably optimistic that he will be ready to go by next spring.
"Four years after his first stint as an Illini assistant, [Luke] Butkus has been bouncing around the practice field in full beard and orange shorts, regardless of the cold temperatures and biting wind. He seems like a different person than the barking guy who coached here in 2012."
This feature examines the boomerang route taken by the nephew of Dick Butkus and Illinois alum to get back to where he is now, leading the Illini offensive line as a position coach. Butkus was Lovie Smith's first hire for his staff, having worked under him in Chicago, and he's leading a positional group that figures to be about as valuable for this upcoming season as any. While he carries with him the Butkus legacy, which is great, he also carries the taint of being on Tim Beckman's staff during that godawful 2012 campaign. It's a whole new feel this season, and Butkus is taking a different approach and looking to prove he's learned from previous coaching mistakes he may have made.
NCAA will make $1 billion per year off March Madness on Turner Sports networks with deal through 2032
An extension was announced Tuesday that ensured we'll be watching March Madness on Turner Sports networks through 2032. The former agreement was slated to expire in 2024, and the extension is worth over $8 billion. As Sherman points out, however, none of this revenue, largely generated by student-athletes, will go to student-athletes themselves. You could argue that the ease with which a deal was made and the length of the deal both go to show how much of a racket this is for those profiting off the madness.
Veritable indentured servitude aside, it's nice to think about there being 16 more NCAA tournaments, because that's 16 more chances for Illinois to make the tournament and, I don't know, win it all or something.