Big Ten

Buckeyes lose receiver Corey Smith to season-ending injury

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Buckeyes lose receiver Corey Smith to season-ending injury

Ohio State will be without one of its wide receivers for the remainder of the season.

Senior wideout Corey Smith left Saturday's 34-27 win over Indiana to a leg injury and did not return after being carted off the field. Monday, head coach Urban Meyer said that Smith will be out for the year, also saying that the injury was similar to the one suffered by sophomore wideout Noah Brown in the preseason. Brown suffered a broken leg during the team's fall camp.

"He had a similar injury to Noah Brown," Meyer said. "And one of my favorite players, a guy that's been through a lot in his life, certainly a lot here, but my heart bleeds for that guy and so do the rest of our team, a kid that really spills it — was on all special teams for us, played really, really hard. From what I understand there's a chance we can get one more year back. We're going to see what happens."

[MORE BIG TEN: Will Hoosiers' Nate Sudfeld, Jordan Howard be ready for Week 6?]

Smith was one of the players suspended for the season-opening win over Virginia Tech. After coming back, he caught five passes for 62 yards in four games.

With Smith and Brown out for the year, the Buckeyes are thin at the receiver position. Michael Thomas is the only true wide receiver among the Buckeyes' top pass-catchers, though Jalin Marshall and Curtis Samuel are listed as starters at wideout. Then there's Braxton Miller and Dontre Wilson, listed as H-backs. Couple all that with the offseason losses of Devin Smith and Evan Spencer, and there's not much true-wideout experience.

Smith is in his second season with the Ohio State program after catching 20 passes last season, and like Meyer mentioned, he will try to get a medical redshirt so he can play again next season.

Illinois came close to adding Divison I hockey team before coronavirus spread

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NBC Sports Chicago

Illinois came close to adding Divison I hockey team before coronavirus spread

After trying to add a Division I men's ice hockey program at the University of Illinois for nearly three years, the school was finally close. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The Chicago Tribune reported Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman told media on Monday that the university was forced to "hit the pause button" on the hopes and dreams of alums, sports fans and young hockey players with midwest ties. 

“Clearly with everything that’s changed here in the last six weeks, it makes sense for us to hit the — at least the short-term — pause button on that project while we wait and let things unfold in the weeks and months ahead,” Whitman said.

According to Whitman, U of I was about a month away from forming the program before the pandemic changed things.

The state of Illinois produces the fourth-most college hockey players but has no Division I hockey team yet. 

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Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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USA TODAY

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.