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The Fighting Illini (also known as The Illini) are the intercollegiate athletic teams of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignmarker. The University offers 10 men's and 11 women's varsity sports.

The University operates a number of athletic facilities, including Memorial Stadiummarker for football, the Assembly Hallmarker for men's basketball, and the Atkins Tennis Center for men's and women's tennis. The Fighting Illini lay claim to over twenty-five National Championships dating back to 1900. However, the Illini have won just two National Championships since 1958 — Men's Tennis in 2003 and Men's Gymnastics in 1989. The men's basketball team finished as National runner-up in 2005, falling just short in the championship game.

Organization

The University's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics administers the official athletics teams of the University. All of the University's athletics teams participate in the NCAA's Division I, and form the Big Ten Conference with 10 other primarily midwestern universities. The football team participates in a subdivision within the Division I known as Division I-A.

Men's Sports

Baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.

Women's Sports

Basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Athletic Accomplishments

Baseball

  • Big Ten Champions: 1900, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1921, 1922, 1927, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1952, 1953, 1962, 1963, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2005


Basketball: Men

  • National Champions: 1915 (Mythical National Championship awarded by the Helms Athletic Foundation in 1935)
  • NCAA Runner Up: 2005
  • NCAA Final Four: 1949, 1951, 1952, 1989, 2005
  • Big Ten Champions: 1915, 1917, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1984, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 2003, 2005


Basketball: Women

  • Big Ten Champions: 1997


Cross Country: Men

  • Big Ten Champions: 1921, 1947, 1984


Fencing: Men

  • National Champions: 1956, 1958


Football



Golf: Men

  • Big Ten Champions: 1923, 1927, 1930, 1931, 1940, 1941, 1988, 2009


Gymnastics: Men

  • NCAA National Champions: 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1989
  • Big Ten Champions: 1911, 1912, 1929, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, 2004, 2005, 2009


Gymnastics: Women

  • Big Ten Champions: 1990


Swimming and Diving: Men

  • Big Ten Champions: 1911, 1912, 1913


Tennis: Men

  • NCAA National Champions: 2003
  • NCAA National Runner-up: 2007
  • Big Ten Champions: 1914, 1917, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1946, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005


Track and Field: Men

INDOOR
  • NCAA National Champions: 1921, 1926, 1943, 1945, 1946
  • Big Ten Champions: 1912, 1913, 1914, 1916, 1920, 1921, 1924, 1928, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1988, 1989


OUTDOOR
  • NCAA National Champions': 1921, 1927, 1944, 1946, 1947
  • Big Ten Champions: 1907, 1909, 1913, 1914, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1975, 1977, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1994


Track and Field: Women

INDOOR
  • Big Ten Champions: 1989, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996


OUTDOOR
  • Big Ten Champions: 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 2005, 2007


Volleyball

  • NCAA Final Four: 1987, 1988
  • Big Ten Champions: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992


Wrestling

  • Big Ten Champions: 1913, 1917, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1935, 1937, 1946, 1947, 1952, 2005


Famous athletes



Men's Basketball: 1988-1989 season



Notable Players:

Story: Ranked #1 during the regular season. Known for their athletic style. Defeated in the Final Four of the 1989 NCAA Tournament, by the Michigan Wolverines even though they had defeated them twice during the regular season. Michigan went on to win the National Championship.

Men's Basketball: 2004–2005 season

  • Overall record (tournaments included): 37–2
  • Regular season: 29–1
  • Big Ten Conference play: 15–1
  • Head coach: Bruce Weber


Starters:

Story: The first Illinois men's basketball team to be ranked number one in the polls since Lou Henson's "Flying Illini" of 1989. Illinois won the Big Ten Tournament and were the overall number one seed in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, eventually losing to the University of North Carolinamarker, the number two overall seed, in the finals, 75–70. This Illinois team tied the NCAA record at that time for most wins in a season with 37 and was undefeated until losing the final game of the regular season at Ohio State by the score of 64–65.

Controversy

The Chief Illiniwek symbol

A symbol/mascot of the University's athletic teams was, from 1926–2007, a Native American figure, Chief Illiniwek, who sparked significant controversy beginning in the 1980s. Critics of the Chief claimed that it was a racist stereotype and a symbol of the oppression to Native Americans that took place in past American history. Supporters claimed that it was inoffensive and a source of pride and reverence to the Native American heritage of Illinois Past Sioux elder, Frank Fools Crow, made and sold an authentic ceremonial costume and headdress to the university; recently, the Oglala Sioux tribe demanded the costume and headdress back from the university, though this move was opposed by one of Fools Crow's descendants .

The University was (and is) deeply divided on this issue; while some of the faculty condemned the symbol, the administration remained supportive of it. The University Board of Trustees announced on February 16, 2007, that the Chief's last public performance would be the final home game of the 2006–2007 Men's Basketball season. The name "Fighting Illini" was retained, as the NCAA rescinded its criticism of the use of the term. The name "Fighting Illini" pre-dates the Chief Illiniwek symbol and was bestowed upon the team in honor of Illinoisans who fought in World War I; the use of the name "Illini" dates to the 19th century.

References



See also



External links




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