VIDEO: Illini Now/SI Morning Update With Matthew Stevens - July 4, 2020

Matthew Stevens

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illini Now/Sports Illustrated publisher/editor Matthew Stevens focuses on the story of Illinois senior-to-be wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe and the discussion he started on his Twitter feed about frustrations of not having a voice to express his concerns as a student-athlete. 

Imatorbhebhe, who led Illinois last season in receptions (33), receiving yards (634), and touchdowns (nine), sent out a tweet Friday evening calling for a student-athlete representation group similar to what professional sports, such as the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and the National Hockey, has with player unions.

“There needs to be an NCAA Players Association! We have absolutely no representation when it comes to decision making,” Imatorbhebhe tweeted Friday night on his @JoshBhebhe account handle. "When they start paying kids for their ‘Likeness’ next year, the players should start to unionize.. It’s time we took the power back."

Imatorbhebhe’s tweet comes a few days after Illini senior linebacker Milo Eifler expressed on social media and with local media his concerns with the NCAA and the lack of leadership regarding the idea of playing football during the current coronavirus pandemic.

  • One other note: The Illini Now/Sports Illustrated site will be doing a LIVE BLOG for the 'House Of Paign' Illinois alumni team in the first round of The Basketball Tournament 2020 tonight. 'House Of Paign' will take on 'War Tampa', which is a squad primarily of Auburn alums, at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The winner will face defending champion and host Carmen's Crew, primarily of Ohio State alumni. At Illini Now/SI we will have live coverage similarly to how we provide live coverage of an Illini football or basketball game. 

This 'House Of Paign' team, formed by former guard Mike LaTulip, who serves as the team's head coach as well, also has former Illini players such as Malcolm Hill, Nnanna Egwu, Leron Black, Michael Finke, and Cameron Liss slated to play.