Ex-football player donates $5 million to Illinois program

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A former University of Illinois football player has donated $5 million toward the construction of the Illinois Football Performance Center.

The donation by former Illinois captain and offensive MVP Stu Levenick and his wife, Nancy, was announced Thursday. Levenick’s name will grace the “Levenick Auditorium” in the performance center.

In a statement, Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said the Levenicks believe in the value of education and how the student-athlete experience “provides a positive impact on their future.”

Levenick was a walk-on who was selected in the ninth round of the 1976 NFL Draft.

The performance center is currently under construction and will give the football program a 107,650 square foot facility adjacent to the Irwin Indoor Practice Facility. The center will feature strength and conditioning and sports medicine space, coaches’ offices, position meeting rooms, player development areas and locker rooms.