Illinois made it all the way to Pasadena last season on the running of Rashard Mendenhall, but the Big Ten MVP left after his junior season and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. From the sound of it, he won't be back in Champaign for a long time.
"To tell you the truth, as long as Ron Zook is there it will be hard for me to support the University of Illinois football team," Mendenhall told Bob Asmussen of the News-Gazette of Champaign-Urbana.
Zook said: "I feel bad that he feels that way."
Mendenhall said he nearly quit days before the 2007 season only to be talked out of it by his brother, Walter, who was also a member of the team. Walker has since transferred to Illinois State for his final season of eligibility.
The Steelers' bye week is Oct. 11 and the Fighting Illini play host to Minnesota that weekend. But Mendenhall has already made plans to be in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to watch Walter play against Northern Iowa.
"The biggest thing I can stress is that it's not about my brother and what happened to him," Rashard said. "It's so much more than that. It's so much that's going on right now, that went on with me that people don't know. It's hard for me to support how things are done."
Thanks to Image of Sport.