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I blame U of I's problems on Bruce Weber's hair products

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Dee Brown

Top story: I guess the top story today is that the University of Illinois will be cutting the budget and introducing furlough days for staff. At first, I questioned why is it a big deal that this announcement is front page news. Didn’t this happen with other major companies, and their news is buried in the Business section? But after talking to colleagues, it is a big deal because a) any business that is the size of a major university is going to cause ripple effects. The impact is potentially larger because it affects university staff which in turn affects students, which in turn affect you because you are paying for said students. Not just for tuition, but for your tax burden. And so why are they in this situation? Did they spend too much money on orange shirts for home basketball games? Nope. According to the university’s president, the state of Illinois owes the university $436 million. Ouch. This is not new news, the state has been late on payments for public universities for years, but budget cuts are. Gee, I wonder if this will play out in the election? You have a current governor who is ultimately responsible vs. the comptroller who is in charge of paying those bills. B story: The McPier folks will be down in Springfield lobbying for new laws to help compete for convention business. Young investigative journalists unite: how much money does it cost to go lobby Springfield to help save money? There are rumors of a merger between McPier and the Illinos Sports Facilities Authority...not to be confused with the Sports Authority retail store, which once merged with Sportmart. C story: Shop classes to be replaced with job training programs at public high schools. Sounds like a job for Washburn Trade School! Oh wait.... Weather: It was so cold last night that the power went out in my place.‚ And this morning there was no hot water. C’mon. I’m seriously thinking of moving to Scottsdale. Sports: Today is doomsday for Lovie’s coaches at Halas Hall. The news conference will be at 2 pm. But who needs a news conference when you have sources? Biggs has the “Lovie is staying” story, and the Sun-Times has the “Turner is fired” story. Thanks for ruining the build up, guys. Kicker: I sit next to Criminal Reporter Rob Wildeboer. He just pulled out his sandwich he had for lunch. He couldn’t wait. A new record: 9:52am.

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