Illinois boys' basketball tournament returns to Champaign

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' boys' high school basketball tournament will return to the Urbana-Champaign area, resuming a tradition that begin in 1919, the Illinois High School Association announced Monday.

The IHSA voted in a virtual meeting prompted by the coronavirus pandemic to return the tournament to the University of Illinois campus for the first time since 1995. The boys' tournament moved to Peoria's Civic Center in 1996.

While praising Peoria for its passionate basketball fans, IHSA executive director Craig Anderson said in a statement it was the right time to return the tournament to Champaign.

“The State Farm Center is one of the best arenas in the country, and we are excited to crown state champions there once again,” Anderson said. “The timing simply felt right to make a change as the tournament format shifts in 2021."

Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman said in a statement the university is “grateful” to the IHSA and its leadership for choosing State Farm Center and Urbana-Champaign to host the state finals.

Champaign made a bid five years ago to regain the boys' tournament, but State Farm Center was undergoing major renovations, and Peoria held on to the event.

The girls' basketball tournament will remain in Normal.

Boilermakers' longest-tenured AD, Morgan Burke, dies at 68

WEST LAFAYETTE (AP) — Morgan Burke, the longest serving athletic director in Purdue history, died at his home Monday after battling a rare disease for the past year. He was 68.

University officials said in a statement Burke had been diagnosed with amyloidosis, an ailment caused by the build-up of an abnormal protein which prevents the body's organs from functioning properly.

Burke took over as athletic director in 1993 and held the title until he was named the university's vice president for special projects in 2016. His tenure was characterized by his contention that he cared as much about winning in the classroom as much as he wanted to win on the athletic fields.

It was during Burke's era that Purdue celebrated some of the school's greatest successes — national championships in women's basketball in 1999 and women's golf in 2010, the 2000 Rose Bowl trip and three successive Big Ten men's basketball crowns in the mid-1990s. He also enjoyed watching some of the school's biggest stars, such as Glenn Robinson and Drew Brees.

Burke also oversaw an array of major facility projects including renovations to Ross-Ade Stadium and Mackey Arena and the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex as well as building new baseball and softball fields and Boilermaker Aquatic Center that was named for the former swim team captain. He even helped Daniels develop and launch Purdue University Global.

And yet, the cumulative student-athlete GPA topped 3.0 for the final 15 semesters of Burke's tenure.

Bailey, Freeney debut on college Hall of Fame ballot

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia cornerback Champ Bailey, Syracuse defensive end Dwight Freeney and Kansas State running back Darren Sproles will appear on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The National Football Foundation on Tuesday announced the 78 players and seven coaches from major college football who are up for selection to the Atlanta-based Hall of Fame. There also are 99 players and 33 coaches from outside the highest level of college football eligible for induction.

The College Hall of Fame class of 2021 will be announced early next year.

Bailey was the Nagurski Award winner as the nation's best defensive player in 1998, while also playing receiver and returning kicks for the Bulldogs.

Freeney holds the NCAA record for career sacks per game at 1.61 and was co-Big East defensive player of the year in 2001 for Syracuse.

Sproles finished fifth in Heisman voting in 2003 for the Wildcats.

Among the other notable players on the ballot for the first time are kickers Sebastian Janikowski of Florida State and Luis Zendejas of Arizona State and quarterback Ken Dorsey from Miami. Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is also up for induction for the first time.

Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer from Southern California and Rashaan Salaam from Colorado are among those returning to the ballot.

UVA changes athletics logo design linked with slavery

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia is changing the logos it uses for its athletics teams just two months after they were unveiled after criticism that a design element referred to the school's history with slavery.

Fans raised objections to the serpentine curves put on the handles of the sabres below the V for Virginia and on the Cavalier shield. They were meant to mimic “the design of the serpentine walls” that long stood on the campus, according to a statement from the school's athletics department on Monday.

Athletic Director Carla Williams said she decided to change the logos after she was “made aware of the negative connotation between the serpentine walls and slavery.” Historians pointed out that former President Thomas Jefferson designed the original eight-foot-high walls to muffle the sounds of slaves and hide them from public view.

The school has redesigned the detail in the logos to remove the curved handles, and will replace it with another version that has straight-line handles, Williams added.

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