CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -The Illinois men's and women's basketball teams got an early start to their seasons Saturday, holding what they called the world's largest outdoor basketball practice on a portable court at Memorial Stadium.
It's unlikely they'll be able to repeat it, though. The NCAA is expected to ban such early events after coaches at other schools complained.
The basketball teams took advantage of Illinois' homecoming football crowd, setting up the court in the stadium's south end zone and practicing and scrimmaging right after the Illini's 27-20 loss to Minnesota.
``The players had fun, got to scrimmage in front of an audience and get those competitive juices going a bit after a long offseason of pickup games in an empty gym,'' Illinois men's coach Bruce Weber said.
Weber received permission from the NCAA to hold the practice ahead of the official Oct. 17 start date, and he was hoping for the outdoor practice to become an annual event.
ng with Kentucky, Marshall and West Virginia, were given special dispensation - and, they worried, a possible recruiting edge - by the NCAA.
Because of the uproar, the NCAA is expected later this month to narrow the definition of preseason practice to exclude public events.
According to Weber the event was never meant to give Illinois a recruiting advantage, though he acknowledged more recruits were in attendance than there would have been at a traditional Midnight Madness event.
Illinois opens its season Nov. 14 at home against Eastern Washington.

NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Wisconsin vs. Xavier Pick Will No. 15 Xavier be able to go on the road and pick up a small upset when the Musketeers take on Wisconsin 8:30PM...
Thumbnail Creighton vs. Northwestern Pick Will No. 20 Northwestern overcome a tough challenge at home when the Wildcats host ...
Thumbnail Indiana vs. Seton Hall Picks Can Indiana go on the road and pose a challenge to No. 22 Seton Hall when the two teams meet up tonight at 6:30PM...
Thumbnail Kentucky vs. Kansas Pick Tuesday’s college basketball slate closes out with another top-10 matchup when No. 4 Kansas faces No. 7 Kentucky at 9:30PM ET.
Thumbnail Purdue vs. Marquette Pick Can No. 19 Purdue go on the road and cover in the tough challenge of facing Marquette...

NCAAB Headlines

NCAAB Team Pages