"I don't know if it's fully set in yet, especially since it's been one of my goals for such a long time now," said Brandon Ngai, the youngest-ever NCAA champ.
Illinois can now claim the obscure fame of being the alma mater of the youngest champion in NCAA history. Illini gymnast and literal child Brandon Ngai, whose 18th birthday will be June 20, outperformed the nation's best collegiate gymnasts this past weekend in the pommel horse event at nationals, scoring a 15.450, which apparently is a great pommel horse score. The Illini as a team finished fourth, which is fine, though not ideal for a program that passes for a national powerhouse in the world of college gymnastics. Oklahoma won the national team title.
Ngai also holds the distinction of being the youngest athlete to ever compete for the Orange and Blue, when he competed last year in his freshman season. Ngai graduated high school at 15. He's also an aerospace engineering major. Maybe let's all just give up? But seriously, good job, Brandon.
Here's a video of Ngai's routine, for those interested.
Illini baseball topped EIU in Mattoon and has won 5 straight games heading into its weekend home series against Ohio State.
Illinois fended off a 5-31 Eastern Illinois team to win its fifth straight game, improving to 18-16 on the season. Jason Goldstein raked a two-run homer as part of his three-hit night. He had a good game, and the Illini were able to escape with a win despite putting the tying run at third base in the ninth. Illinois' five-game streak has coincided with a nonconference stretch that ends Friday when Ohio State comes to town. The season so far has failed to meet expectations, but continuing their hot streak against the Buckeyes could turn things around for the Illini. The series begins at 6 p.m. with the annual "Bleacher Bum BBQ" event, in which Illinois' athletic department gives out free sandwiches. So, there's that.
A lot of Big Ten football coaches have spoken out against the ban on satellite camps.
This article contains not just Big Ten coaches, but coaches from nearly all collegiate conferences have voiced displeasure with the NCAA's recently enacted bans on satellite camps. Lovie Smith hasn't really divulged an opinion on this yet, presumably because he hasn't been asked, presumably because he's never experienced one and wouldn't have much of a stance on it. It's rare that you see a rule change from the NCAA that gets openly criticized by head coaches, let alone with such ubiquity. Whether that means anything in the way of a prospective future reversal remains to be seen.