INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WCIA) — Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren doubled down on his decision, along with league leaguers, to not award Illinois a share of the Big Ten basketball title last season. Warren was asked about the situation during his opening remarks of the conference’s basketball media day at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Thursday morning.
Illinois finished the COVID-19 season with the most conference wins at 16-4, beating Michigan on its home court, but the Wolverines won the outright regular season championship with a 14-3 record. Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman advocated last March for the Illini to receive their due.
“He’s passionate and the University of Illinois has an incredible fan base,” Warren said about Whitman. ” I was able to go to Champaign this offseason and I feel that we made the right decision collectively with all the athletic directors and conference staff. Josh and I have had an opportunity to discuss the events of last year.”
Whitman tabbed an open letter to Illini Nation saying he tried to change Warren’s mind but was ultimately unsuccessful. Despite not winning the regular season championship, Illinois went on to win the Big Ten tournament title, before losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament to Loyola.