Illini Finally Get To Play

Kurt Kittner leads Illinois into battle with Virginia on Thursday in the Bowl.
Kurt Kittner leads Illinois into battle with Virginia on Thursday in the Bowl.

Dec. 29, 1999

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Everything that can be said has been said. Both teams have practiced and prepared for battle. There is only one thing to do. Play the game.

The day before the Bowl was a relaxed one for the University of Illinois football squad. The Illini attended the Academic Excellence Awards banquet along with the Virginia Cavaliers and their officials in the morning. The afternoon consisted of an hour walkthrough at Pro Player Stadium.

The awards banquet got underway with a rousing rendition of the Illinois fight song from the Marching Illini. Josh Whitman, owner of a 3.97 grade point average in Illinois' nationally ranked school of business, was bestowed the Scholar-Athlete Award. In his remarks, Whitman praised his teammates and the University of Illinois for always striving to be the best. Head Coach Ron Turner echoed the junior's sentiments by thanking his 22-member senior class for enduring the hardships of their past three years, buying into his system and doing their best both on and off the field.

The game will air tomorrow the Superstation TBS at 7 p.m. EST. Kevin Harlan along side Trev Alberts and Sam Wyche with sideline reporter Craig Sager will call the action. The Illinois-Virginia matchup can be heard on the Illini Sports Network. The Fighting Illini men's basketball game against Loyola and the women's contest against Ohio State will be broadcasted on tape delay following Bowl game, but can be heard live on