As a youth rugby coach, I can say we spend more time on practicing safe and effective tackling than anything else besides maybe passing. It's difficult to get kids to tackle legally when high tackles are penalized severely and head contact even with your arms can get you thrown out of the match...
I was excited to see Cam Thomas enter the game, but then I thought "why burn his redshirt halfway through the season?" It's not like a win was necessary to save Lovie's job or make a bowl game. If he needed game reps, why not play him sooner?
Unfortunately, the deal with the remnants of Illini with the Peoria tribe came after the shift in leadership at Illinois. Huge missed opportunity.
I would add the stipulation that the player must have averaged less than 10 minutes per game over the previous season. If playing time is an issue, let them transfer. Blue bloods might pick up the occasional gem that blew up late in the season or a star returning from injury, but that would be...
1. Investment in facilities hasn't paid off with revenue sport ticket sales.
2. Illinois is the flagship school for a deadbeat state that can't pay its bills because of committing to more spending than income can support.
At least if this helps recruiting and player development it means the team can get back to the glory days of the 80s and then raise the money to do an even better job of finishing the Memorial Stadium upgrade.