FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2015, file photo, Illinois head woman's basketball coach Matt Bollant reacts to a call during an NCAA college basketball game in Piscataway, N.J. A Chicago law firm hired by the University of Illinois to investigate allegations of
Mel Evans, File
October 08, 2015

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) The Illinois women's basketball team hopes to move beyond an offseason of legal problems after former players accused the coach of running a racially abusive program.

But it was clear Thursday at the team's media day that those troubles are shaping what the team does now.

Coach Mike Bollant said he knew even before troubles surfaced that he needed to take steps to make sure the team reflected more of what he called his optimistic nature.

Seven former players sued Bollant and others. An outside law firm investigated and found no basis for the allegations of racial abuse. But the lawsuit goes on.

Bollant said he believes his team this season can win some of those close games it lost.

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