Big Ten

Crean after latest off-court issues: Hoosiers' leadership has been 'less than poor'

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Crean after latest off-court issues: Hoosiers' leadership has been 'less than poor'

Criticism of Indiana head basketball coach Tom Crean of late has had more to do with off-the-court issues than the Hoosiers' recent results on the court.

Legal issues keep cropping up for Indiana players, the most recent coming earlier this week, when Emmitt Holt and Thomas Bryant were cited for underage possession of alcohol.

It's the latest in a string of incidents dating back to spring of 2014, when Hanner Mosquera-Perea was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Later in 2014, Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson were cited for minor consumption and possession of false identification. Last fall, Holt, who had been drinking, was driving a car that struck and severely injured teammate Devin Davis. Holt was suspended four games, and Robinson and Troy Williams were also suspended four games for failing drug tests. Earlier this year, Perea and Davis were dismissed from the team after an incident involving marijuana.

With the punishments for the latest incident involving Holt and Bryant yet to be handed down, Crean addressed reporters at an event Thursday in Indianapolis, taking responsibility for his team's behavior but also lamenting the lack of leadership among his players.

[MORE BIG TEN: Check out complete 2015-16 Big Ten basketball schedule]

“We’ve got to get everybody to understand — it doesn’t matter who it is, it doesn’t matter this situation, the entire team — we’ve got to get a team of guys to understand (that) ultimately they are playing ‘for' Indiana and not ‘at’ Indiana," Crean said. A video of his comments was published by the Indianapolis Star. "There’s a lot that goes into the basketball responsibility, the academic responsibility, the social responsibility. And really where we sit right now, as much as anything else, is a leadership responsibility they’ve got to have with one another. I’d love to sugarcoat it for you — and I’m responsible for this, ultimately I’m responsible — but our internal team leadership has been less than poor for the last two years.

"When situations like this happen, much like any other time, it might be isolated to a couple people when it comes to what happens, but it’s a team-wide thing when it comes to understanding where you’re at. And we’ve struggled with that, we’ve struggled with that for the last couple years."

As these incidents continue to occur with great frequency, the external criticism of Crean increases as well.

Despite delivering 20-win campaigns in three of the past four seasons, Crean has yet to get the Hoosiers past the Sweet Sixteen in his seven seasons at the helm of Indiana, just three have which have featured NCAA tournament appearances.

Combine the off-the-court stuff with the on-the-court stuff, and Crean's supporters are increasingly difficult to count.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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USA TODAY

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.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.