Radio extra: Brad Underwood

Radio extra: Brad Underwood

Email us your thoughts on the new coach at sports@news-gazette.com

Brad Underwood is making the media rounds Monday, a busy day that he'll cap off by addressing the fans in attendance at tonight's NIT game against Boise State.

Today's "Monday Morning Quarterbacks" show (217-356-9397) on WDWS 1400-AM will run an extra hour — 9 a.m. to noon — as hosts Jim Turpin and Loren Tate break down the Illini hire. Already, the phone lines are buzzing.

"This is the first opportunity for people to tell us what they think," Turpin said. "So far, it's all positive. We're still waiting for someone to say something negative about the hire."

ESPN Chicago radio sportscaster David Kaplan called in and strongly praised the hire.

"This hire, I promise you, will work. He knows how the game is played. This guy is charismatic, an outstanding coach at both ends, and he will get players."

Kaplan was also impressed with AD Josh Whitman's ability to find a coach looking to get out of a bad contract.

"When I did my list of 10 candidates, I didn't even think of him," he said. "Whitman, he deserves a ton of credit for zeroing in on (Underwood)."

Kaplan said he spent the weekend defending the hire on Twitter to Illini fans unfamiliar with Underwood.

"Josh Whitman hit a home run. This is a tremendous hire," he said. "You've got to give this guy a chance. … If he doesn't get it done, I will be shocked."

At noon, WDWS and WHMS 97.5-FM will carry live Underwood's news conference from campus.

At 5 p.m., Underwood and Whitman will join "The News-Gazette Sports Page" radio show at the Esquire in downtown Champaign. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Listen to WDWS here.

 

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Common Sense wrote on March 20, 2017 at 11:03 am

Here we go again, 3+ million a year for a SPORTS COACH! Meanwhile, thousands of students who want to actually learn something have to take out loans for tens of thousands of dollars to be able to attend the U of I.

For those who decry the rich, why is there never any mention of these people? In the big picture, what do they contribute to society that is worth that much?

Thewatcher wrote on March 20, 2017 at 11:03 am

The sad truth is many donators and contributors do so because they support the sports programs.  U of I is a fantastic educational institution, but when it comes to money, sports is where it's at.  It's a nation wide college culture that exists, not just at the U of I.  You give him money because sports makes money.  You follow the money.

jparks wrote on March 20, 2017 at 10:03 pm

How in the world could someone allow the newly hired coach at the University of Illinois to spend the first half of tonights game, knowing that he would be shown numerous times on ESPN, to spend almost all of his time focusing on his cell phone.  And his wife and child were doing the same thing.  And why should anyone need to tell him that the cameras would be on them and that it would be a really bad look to be only focusing on their cell phones.  WOW.  Someone told them.  The second half the phones were in their pocket.  Not a very smart start in my opinion.  Best of luck to you in the future but make better decisions.