Daily Summary | Whitman: I had to accept the “sunk cost” with hockey; Illini golf adds the best of MVC to its roster



There are a lot of news every day. Illini Inquirer will try to ease digestion each morning of the week with the Daily Digest.


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(Photo: Jeremy Werner, 247Sports)


Josh Whitman expended a great deal of athletic department energy, time, and resources pursuing a Division I hockey project for Illinois. And that’s why it was so difficult for Illini’s sports director to abandon the five-year project. But no matter how badly he wanted to add another highly visible program to his athletic department — and build a new venue for up to five varsity sports — Whitman said he just had to do his best for his program and move on. to something else.

  • Illinois had partnered with local partners, including the city of Champaign and a local real estate developer, on a $100 million downtown arena project. The project was about to be approved in 2020, but then the pandemic hit and changed the economics of the deal. Last month, Whitman announced that Illinois had halted the continuation of the project.


Whitman told reporters on Thursday: “I think whenever you dedicate as much time as we do to this project – it’s something we’ve put more than five years of effort into and traveled a lot across the country and met a lot of interesting people – and you certainly expect these things to bring about a certain result. For various reasons, it just wasn’t in the cards. You learn this theory of sunk cost in economics in school, and I think you’re in real trouble if you justify continued activity based on past actions. For us, it just got to the point where we had to make a decision, and we had other priorities where we had to put our resources and our time. It was the right time to make that call.

“It was obvious to everyone that it was the right time, that there just wasn’t a ready-made solution that presented itself to allow us to cross the finish line in a meaningful time. Granted, it was our decision to make, but as we looked around and polled the various entities involved in the project, everyone understood and agreed that now was the right time.


And after: Whitman and the Illinis are researching options to fund a new venue for volleyball, wrestling, and men’s and women’s gymnastics.


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(Photo: Jeremy Werner, 247Sports)


Stadium’s Jeff Goodman ranked Illinois basketball 20th on the nation’s team in his pre-season ranking. The Illini also jumped into the top 25 of ESPN’s preseason rankings and projections from 2023 to barttorvik.com after adding 247Sports top 20 transfers Terrence Shannon Jr. and Matthew Mayer over the past five weeks.


Goodman writes: “It’s a completely renewed Illini team with the departure of Cockburn, Plummer, Frazier and even Curbelo. Brad Underwood will play fast with the addition of guys like Mayer and Shannon through the portal, as well as a trio of top-75 freshmen.


Big Ten teams in Goodman’s ranking

  • 11) Indiana
  • 20) Illinois
  • 21) Michigan
  • 25) Ohio State


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(Photo: USA TODAY Sports)


Illinois comes in at No. 15 in Andy Katz update ranking of the 36 best powers at NCAA.com. The Illini moved up 14 places from their previous spot in Katz’s rankings after adding transfers Matthew Mayer and Terrence Shannon.

  • Katz wrote: “Terrence Shannon Jr. and Matthew Mayer bring the toughness of the Big 12 to the Big Ten.


Big Ten teams in Katz’s rankings

  • 7) Indiana
  • 13) State of Michigan
  • 15) Illinois
  • 17) Michigan
  • 20) Rutgers
  • 21) Purdue
  • 28) Wisconsin
  • 31) Iowa
  • 34) Ohio State


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(Photo: courtesy SIU Athletics)

Illinois Men’s Golf announced Thursday the addition of Southern Illinois graduate transfer Matthis Besard. The Belgium native was the 2022 MVC Player of the Year – leading SIU to a conference title – and was the 2018 MVC Newcomer of the Year. He was also named to the PING All-Midwest Region team. 2022, with new Illini teammates Adrien Dumont de Chassart, Tommy Kuhl and Piercen Hunt.

  • Illini’s Belgian pipeline continues. Belgians Thomas Pieters, Thomas Detry, Giovanni Tadiotto and Dumont de Chassart have all been key to the Illinois Big Ten’s dominance and NCAA success over the past decade.


Besard said in a statement: “I chose Illinois because I felt it was the right school for me. Illinois’ golf program has been one of the best in the country for over a decade now. rivals the best schools week of and a week, and has been found to prepare players for a professional career after college, which is my ultimate goal. Also, Coach Small is one of the best , if not the best, coaches and I think I can learn from him for an entire year will take my game to the next level And finally I’m transferring from Southern Illinois, and I’m leaving this place with nothing but great memories so I know the community and wanted to stay in the area.


Illinois golf coach Mike Small said in a statement: “We are thrilled that Matthis chose to complete his college eligibility at the University of Illinois and pursue his master’s degree at Gies College of Business. He has proven to be one of college golf’s top players this year. last, and his game continues to mature nicely. He’s a winner, and the combination of his physical talent, competitiveness, and desire to be the best he can be, makes him a perfect fit for Ilini.


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Joriell Washington (Photo: Jeremy Werner, 247Sports)

Illinois transfers defensive back/linebacker Joriell Washington announced Thursday that he will transfer to Louisiana Tech. Three-star prospect of the Class of 2021, Washington – a native of Fort Myers, Florida – signed with Illinois three days later Lovie Smith was fired and three days before Bret Bielema was hired. He sat out a game last season due to injury and has up to four years left in eligibility.


Why is this important: Washington is the third former Illini defenseman to sign with Louisiana Tech in the past two days. outside linebacker Dwayne Johnson and linebacker Kalen Villanueva On Wednesday, they announced they would be playing for Bulldogs first-year head coach Sonny Crumble.


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Have a good week-end! And take full advantage of our only sunny spring week in central Illinois…

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