A further sign that the University of Illinois is slowly spiraling toward becoming a bigger version of the University of Chicago (which isn’t bad).
In my day. Illinois football was fair to maudlin, and tickets were $20-$30 for the cheap seats … with the student discount … and they still managed to fill Memorial Stadium. Northwestern University allowed students in for free, but their team was terrible back then.
25 years later … things have changed …
True, the whole of the Big 10 has become the whipping boy of major college athletic conferences, but places like Ohio State and Michigan still sell out. Illinois, on the other hand …
Today, Illinois had a weather delay which put off the start of the Texas State game. I’m not sure if that is a university or a high school all-star team. Nonetheless, the Athletic Department decided to send out the word as soon as the delay started: when the gates re-opened, all comers would be allowed in. That’s right … if you lived within 2 hours of the Champaign-Urbana-Savoy-Rantoul Micropolitan Statistical District, and could get there, you got to see free Big 10 football. FREE!
25 years ago, every frat boy and girl named Muffy would have stampeded into the stadium (ticket money saved is beer money earned).
As the picture shows … there was a collective “Meh …” from citizens of the University. I figure in 15 years, Illinois can join the University Athletic Association to make it the “Twerpy Ten” … then maybe Northern Illinois University can join the Big 10.