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Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney speaks at Big Ten Media Days

The Illini were mentioned in the Friday night games question.


A lot of reporters were grilling Jim Delaney on student-athlete pay during Monday’s Big Ten Media Days, but one question where the Illini were mentioned specifically was about the Big Ten’s initiative to play Friday night games.

On playing Friday night games as a league, Delaney said, “A number of schools said they wanted to have a Friday game.”

Illinois played a pair of Friday night games last season, including one in conference play. This year, Illinois will open Big Ten play against Penn State on a Friday night at Memorial Stadium.

“It is an opportunity, and there are some conflicts with high schools, but we’ve been able to announce those games in the past,” Delaney said.

“They went off fairly well,” he continued. “We’re going to continue to communicate, but they will be there going forward.”

Until Illinois isn’t picked to finish last in the Big Ten, the Illini will certainly be a part of the Big Ten’s Friday night plans going forward.

Head coach Lovie Smith and three players — Mike Dudek, Nick Allegretti and Jamal Milan — will speak during Media Days’ second day on Tuesday. Stay with The Champaign Room for coverage throughout the day.