Football Opens Spring Practice Tomorrow


March 20, 2000

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Illinois football team looks to build on its 8-4 record and 63-21 Bowl win over Virginia in 1999 during its annual spring practice session which begins on Tuesday, March 21 at 3:45 p.m. in the Memorial Stadium Bubble. Practices are open to the public.

The Illini return 10 starters from the highest scoring offense in school history, including quarterback Kurt Kittner, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, tight end Josh Whitman, the entire offensive line and running backs Jameel Cook and Rocky Harvey. Although the defense lost seven starters, among those returning are linebacker Michael Young, safety Muhammad Abdullah, linemen Fred Wakefield and Brandon Moore, as well as Bobby Jackson, who started at safety in '97 and '98 and defensive tackle Jason Eberhart who made six starts last year for the injured Mike McGee.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Coach Turner will hold a press luncheon to kickoff the 2000 spring practice season on Tuesday, March 21 at 11:30 a.m. in the Varsity Room adjacent to Memorial Stadium. Turner will speak at 11:30 a.m. followed by players at Noon. Both Coach Turner and players will be accessible on a teleconference at the same times. Practices are open to the public and media and photographers will be able to shoot the first 20 minutes.

PRACTICE TIMES: The 2000 spring practice times are as follows:

Practice #1Tuesday, March 213:45 p.m.
Practice #2Wednesday, March 223:45 p.m.
Practice #3Friday, March 243:45 p.m.
Practice #4Monday, March 273:45 p.m.
Practice #5Thursday, March 303:45 p.m.
Practice #6Friday, March 313:45 p.m.
Practice #7Saturday, April 12:00 p.m.
Practice #8Monday, April 33:45 p.m.
Practice #9Tuesday, April 43:45 p.m.
Practice #10Thursday, April 63:45 p.m.
Practice #11Friday, April 73:45 p.m.
Practice #12Monday, April 103:45 p.m.
Practice #13Wednesday, April 123:45 p.m.
Practice #14Thursday, April 133:45 p.m.
Spring GameSaturday, April 152:00 p.m.

SPRING GAME: The Illini will conclude their spring season with the annual Orange and Blue Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at 2 p.m. in Memorial Stadium. Tickets are just $5 for adults and $2 for all students.

ILLINI STREET FEST: Fans can enjoy music, games, entertainment, food and tailgating at the spring pre-game Illini Street Fest which will take place in the West grass lot of Memorial Stadium. On hand will be a live band scheduled to start at Noon. Chevy's Fresh Mex will be serving food in the Street Fest area, opening at 11:30 a.m. There will also be many interactive games and activities on hand for the whole family to enjoy.

MERCHANDISE SALE: The Division of Intercollegiate Athletic and the Illini Union Bookstore will conduct their annual Merchandise sale inside the Great West Hall of Memorial Stadium beginning at 10 a.m. Fans can pick up discounted Illini merchandise and clothing compliments of the DIA and IUB.

PLAYERS AND COACHES AUTOGRAPHS: Following the conclusion of the 2000 Orange and Blue Spring Game, Illini players and coaches will be available on the field for autographs and photos.

RADIO COVERAGE: Fans will be able to listen to the spring game live on the 55-station Illini Sports Network and on the internet at Check your local listings for air times and availability.

PARKING: Fans can take advantage of free parking for the Orange and Blue Game in the Northwest and Northeast lots of Assembly Hall, E-14 and the Terrace , both accessible from First Street.

SEASON TICKETS: 2000 Illinois football season tickets are on sale now at the Illinois Athletic Ticket Office. Season tickets are just $143 for the general public, $116 for Illinois Faculty/Staff and $60 for UI students. To order, call (217) 333-3470 or visit Ticket Office in Assembly Hall Room 100. Single-game tickets are scheduled to go on sale on April 12.