As classes begin Monday, you may wonder what you missed out on this summer … What happened?

By Paul Biasco

If not, you missed a lot. Here’s a list of what happened, why you should care, and what you should look out for in the weeks to come.

Say goodbye to Jamar

WHAT?

Junior guard for Illinois basketball Jamar Smith was dismissed from the basketball team after violating his personal agreement with head coach Bruce Weber after an incident allegedly violated his probation.

SO WHAT?

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After redshirting his sophomore season, there were high hopes for Smith who was predicted to be “one of the best players in college basketball” by former Illini Sergio McClain, a first-year head coach at Parkland who played in a few pickup games with the Illini over the summer.

NOW WHAT?

The Illini will need to find a scorer in their lineup to take the place of Smith or else the Illini may once again be bottom dwellers in the Big Ten after finishing last season in ninth place in the conference with a 16-19 overall record.

Senior eyeing seat in Illinois House of Representatives

WHAT?

University senior Frank Calabrese formally announced his candidacy as the Republican candidate for the state House’s 103rd district on July 11.

SO WHAT?

Calabrese will be running in Champaign this fall against the incumbent Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana.

NOW WHAT?

Calabrese is out campaigning on and around campus preparing for the election.

Lincoln Hall renovations stalled

WHAT?

Lincoln Hall renovations are stalled after a bill appropriating nearly $55 million for renovations failed in the Illinois House of Representatives.

SO WHAT?

Plans for major renovations are on hold while the University waits for the money, but smaller repairs on the exterior of the building and roof will be funded by student fees.

NOW WHAT?

Administrators will have to find room in other buildings for classes that had been scheduled for Lincoln Hall which will sit empty this semester other than some offices.

UI ranked No. 16 . . . in partying

WHAT?

Princeton Review’s 2009 college rankings named the University as the No. 16 party school in the country.

SO WHAT?

We have also been awarded the No. 18 spot where “students study the least.”

NOW WHAT?

There seems to be some sort of correlation.

Current and former Illini compete in Beijing

WHAT?

The Illini are represented by seven athletes in the Olympics in Beijing, as well as a remarkable 22 athletes for the Paralympics.

SO WHAT?

Keep an eye out for Justin Spring for gymnastics, Emily Zurrer for soccer, Chris Robinson for baseball, Gakologelwang Masheto for track and field, Kevin Anderson for tennis, Deron Williams for basketball and Susanna Kallur for track and field.

NOW WHAT?

If you see assistant gymnastics coach Justin Spring on campus this fall, congratulate him on the bronze medal he earned in the team portion.