Big Ten

Buckeyes: Terrelle Pryor OK'd to scrimmage with Browns at Ohio Stadium


Buckeyes: Terrelle Pryor OK'd to scrimmage with Browns at Ohio Stadium

Fans in Columbus might once again get to see Terrelle Pryor play in The Shoe.

Ohio State confirmed to multiple outlets Wednesday that Pryor, the former Buckeyes quarterback, will be allowed to play with his new NFL team, the Cleveland Browns, when it scrimmages at Ohio Stadium in August.

Pryor, of course, will have to still be on the roster in order for that to happen. He recently signed up with the Browns in an attempt to make the team as a wide receiver after failing to stick with an NFL team as a quarterback.

[MORE BIG TEN: Drew Brees donates $1 million to Purdue football program]

The reason Pryor needs permission is that the NCAA is still enforcing a five-year ban stemming from Pryor’s involvement — or rather lack of involvement, as he refused to cooperate — in the NCAA investigation into the Ohio State football program that ended with Pryor leaving the school and former head coach Jim Tressel losing his job.

That ban will be lifted for one day, if necessary, for the Browns’ scrimmage.

Pryor starred at Ohio State during the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons, earning MVP honors in the Buckeyes’ win over Oregon in the 2010 Rose Bowl. But wrongdoing led to his benching for the 2011 Sugar Bowl, and later that offseason he left Columbus amid more investigation into the program. The NCAA’s findings ended in a postseason ban, vacated wins and the end of the Tressel Era.

Pryor, with the NFL Draft already long past, entered the league’s supplemental draft and was selected by the Oakland Raiders. He appeared in just one game during the 2011 season and just three during the 2012 season, starting one of those. In 2013, he appeared in 11 games, making nine starts. He completed 57.4 percent of his passes, throwing seven touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. Last season, he played during the preseason with the Seattle Seahawks but did not see any regular-season action.

[MORE BIG TEN: Hoosiers dismiss starting safety Antonio Allen after drug arrest]

Pryor attempted to earn a job with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason but was cut earlier this month — perhaps more so for tweeting videos of practice than for not being what the Bengals were looking for at QB. That’s when he made the move to receiver in hopes of sticking with the Browns.

The move looks like a last-ditch effort to create a lasting NFL career, as Pryor has been adamant about remaining a quarterback in the past. He told reporters last year that he doesn’t “know how to catch,” and he recently told the Cincinnati Enquirer that “if I can't play quarterback, I can't play football, I'm pretty much done.”

So even if Pryor sticks with the Browns, it might not be for very long.

Pryor’s last collegiate action came at Ohio Stadium in a 30-point win over Michigan in November 2010. Could his last act as an NFL player come there, too?

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


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.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.