The NCAA released their minority hiring report grades for the 30 Division I-A and Division I-AA programs that hired head coaches prior to this football season. The University of Illinois was one of five schools to receive an A. The other four schools that received an A were Indiana, Ohio University, UNLV, and Western Michigan. Other prominent grades were Notre Dame's B, Pittsburgh's C, Florida's D, Utah's F, and South Carolina's F (neither Utah nor South Carolina turned in the proper documentation to the NCAA).
When it comes to the specific grades, here is how the Illini graded out:
Reasonable Time: A
Candidate Interviews: A
Search Committee: A
Application to the School's Documented Affirmative Action Policy: C
The interesting thing here to me is how Illinois received A's in both the candidate interviews and the search committee, especially the latter. Illinois Athletic Director is a well known one-man search committee, so I find it interesting the NCAA graded that out with an A, but it really does not matter. The thing I find very interesting is that the NCAA graded Illinois out an A when it came to interviews, especially because the leaks came out early and often that Ron Zook would be Illinois' next head coach, before any minority candidates were even mentioned. Yes, Illinois did interview Leslie Frazier for the job, but, in my opinion, it was no more than a token interview.
So, while I am happy Illinois got an A grade for the hiring process, I am a little surprised that they received that A for the candidate interviews, especially with the way the Ron Zook hiring leaked out very early in the process.
Congratulations to Ron Zook for landing another commitment for the Illini football program in QB Eddie McGee from Woodson High School in Washington, DC. McGee is the second quarterback commitment for the Fighting Illini in this class, and he is already well aware of Juice's commitment, but as he told Scout.com's Chris Pool, he has “never been afraid of competition.” McGee comes from the same high school that produced Jacksonville Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich. McGee will visit the Illini on December 2. Congratulations again to Coach Zook.
It looks like Illinois has fallen a little behind in the Adrian Clayborn sweepstakes. Clayborn told Scout.com's Allen Wallace that Nebraska and Texas Tech are solid favorites over Iowa, Missouri, and the Fighting Illini. The only two schools that Clayborn has visited up to this point are Nebraska and Texas Tech, so it is not surprising to see that at this point they are his two leaders.
It was an All Van Gundy affair in Miami on Thursday night, and it was aired on TNT for the entire nation to see. The Miami Heat came back to defeat the Houston Rockets 88-84. Former Illinois shooting guard Luther Head played an okay game in the 13 minutes he played scoring 5 points, on 2-of-4 shooting with 2 assists and 2 steal. Luther has been seeing more playing time with Tracy McGrady out injured, but he is still behind Jon Barry, Rafer Alston, and Derrick Anderson on Jeff Van Gundy's depth chart. I do have one simple question about the Rockets (and I will tie it in to the Illini): Who is more afraid to dunk the basketball, James Augustine or Yao Ming?