CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois athletic officials apologized
Friday after fans greeted Indiana freshman Eric Gordon
with obscene chants and curses during the Hoosiers' double overtime
"The profanity and behavior by a small segment of fans Thursday
night is disappointing and intolerable, and for that we apologize
to fans of both teams," Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther
and coach Bruce Weber said in a statement posted Friday on the
men's basketball Web site.
Gordon was making his first appearance at Assembly Hall since
reneging on a verbal commitment to play for the Illini. Students
chanted "Liar! Liar!" and obscenities, booed every time he
touched the ball and cheered every mistake.
He was sloppy early on, but came through late for the Hoosiers,
hitting a clutch 3-pointer late in regulation to help send No. 13
Indiana (No. 14 AP) to an 83-79 victory. Gordon finished with 19 points, all
but one of them after halftime.
Guenther and Weber said in the statement that they take the
reputation of Illini basketball seriously and "the game has been
somewhat diminished by inappropriate behavior by a number of fans
Gordon and the Hoosiers (19-3, 8-1 Big Ten) are in contention
for a Big Ten title. The Illini (10-14, 2-9) are in danger of
missing the postseason for the first time since 1999.