``Let's put one thing to rest,'' athletic director Ron Guenther said Saturday at halftime of the Illinois-Purdue game. ``There will be some changes, but there won't be a change at the top.''
``We're still going to evaluate [the program at the end of the year],'' Guenther said. ``But I think it was unfair to start jumping [on Zook] at the end of [his] fifth year.''
Guenther broke his silence to confirm a Big Ten Network report saying Zook would be back. Guenther said the subject came up in a conversation Friday with Big Ten Network analyst Glen Mason, who is scheduled to meet with Guenther for a BTN project.
As late as Thursday, Guenther had maintained through Illini spokesman Kent Brown that no decision had been made, and that the program and Zook would be evaluated at the end of the season.
``Ron Guenther is emphatic that Ron Zook will return next year,'' Mason reported. ``Ron Guenther is disappointed like most Illini. He is aware that there are problems, but his belief is that Ron Zook is capable of correcting those problems, and that all he needs is time, and he deserves the time to correct them.''