On October 27, University of Illinois athletic director, Josh Whitman, announced the establishment of a hall of fame for the school’s past athletes. Collegiate and NFL great Dick Butkus was named as the first inductee. The rest of the first class of inductees will be announced in February 2017. It will be selected by a secret committee, and most probably be a group of 25-30 former Illinois athletes. There are an obvious group of four that must be included: Red Grange: The football great has his number retired, and a statue that resides in an area in front of Memorial Stadium that’s named after him.
Bob Zupke: The football coach with the most wins has the field at Memorial Stadium named after him.
Lou Henson: The basketball coach with the most wins has the court at State Farm Center named after him.
Lou Boudreau: The MLB hall of famer has his baseball number retired at Illinois and was a basketball All-American at the school.
After those four are selected, I believe that there should be no more than five former football and men’s basketball players selected for the initial hall of fame class at Illinois. The rest should come from the other teams that Illinois has had down through the years such as, Track and Field, Swimming and Diving, and wrestling. All the sports that Illinois has had down through the years should be represented in the first hall of fame, both men and women. Even two teams that were dropped from Illinois’ athletic program should be represented, Men’s swimming and Diving and Fencing. Illinois has had several diverse sports teams down through the years. Its hall of fame should be diverse as well.