Change of Plans

Monday's first scrimmage of fall camp won't be held at Rantoul High School.

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois football team's week-long stint at Camp Rantoul begins Monday with two scheduled workouts, a practice in the morning and an afternoon scrimmage.

The staff, however, did have to deal with a slight change in plans. While the majority of the team's practices are set to take place at the former Chanute Air Force Base, the NCAA blocked the customary location for the scrimmage at Rantoul High School.

NCAA rules permit college teams from holding scrimmages at high school, although a waiver had been granted to Illinois in the past.

So instead, the full contact live game simulation will be held at Chanute.

Coach Tim Beckman didn't hide his disappointment Sunday when asked about the change in venue.

"I was just upset, again, for my thinking behind that was for the city of Rantoul, wanted to provide them an opportunity to play at their high school stadium and provide for the community and provide for the surrounding area in central Illinois," Beckman said.

While adjustments will be necessary, the 5:45 p.m. scrimmage, like all practices in Rantoul, is still open to the public.

"We're going to bring in some bleachers and make sure we can get as many people involved in the practice as we can," Beckman said. "We usually get started around four, but we're going to move it back so people can come after work, so we won't get started until around 5:45. I'm sorry we can't get to Rantoul (High), but we're going to make it work. That's one of the things we're talking about as a program this year – find a way to make it work. That's exactly what we're going to do."

As for the scrimmage itself, Beckman said he's most looking forward to seeing, "the competition. The things that we talked about from the first day that we joined this program, is to compete and to continue to compete and compete at all positions."


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