Routine security expected for College GameDay

When ESPN College GameDay comes to the Assembly Hall on Saturday, security will be nothing out of the ordinary for the home of Illini basketball.

Kevin Ullestad, director of Assembly Hall, said there will not be any significant changes in security procedures for the event.

“Obviously there’s a lot of activity and a lot of excitement running into this event on Saturday morning,” Ullestad said. “We’ve ramped it (security) up a little bit to be able to accommodate ESPN coming in.”

Ullestad added that Assembly Hall has focused on its on safety procedures since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

University Police Lt. Roy Acree said the department will be as involved with College GameDay as it would be with any other function expecting about 2,000 people or more.

“We’re going to be there just to make sure everything runs smoothly,” Acree said. “We want everybody to have a good time, show the U of I spirit, but we don’t want it to get to the point where we are interfering with them (ESPN) doing their job.”

The event will bring top college basketball personalities Digger Phelps, Rece Davis, Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis to campus for the 10 a.m. show Saturday.

Ullestad said Assembly Hall normally has tight security for games and will operate as usual with minor changes in responsibilities to accommodate the ESPN talent.

“I’m not too worried about it,” said Phil Kohlhagen, freshman in Business, about the security for the event. “The only reason why it could be bad is if there’s an MSU fan inside.”

Fans can begin to enter the arena at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday with free admission and parking. The ESPN College GameDay show will precede the Illini Men’s basketball game that evening. The Fighting Illini, coming off a 57-49 win over Iowa, will take on No. 5 Michigan State.