Big Ten

Domestic battery charges against Illini guard Jaylon Tate dismissed

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Domestic battery charges against Illini guard Jaylon Tate dismissed

A day after Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery, the case against Illinois guard Jaylon Tate in the wake of his March arrest on domestic battery charges was thrown out.

According to the Champaign News-Gazette, the domestic battery charges against Tate were dismissed, with State’s Attorney Julia Rietz saying the case couldn't be won.

Both Nunn and Tate — a pair of Chicago natives who were teammates at Simeon High School — remain indefinitely suspended from the Illini basketball program. Head coach John Groce has yet to make a statement on their respective statuses moving forward.

Groce did lift the indefinite suspension of junior-to-be Leron Black after Black's own legal situation was resolved earlier this month. Black pleaded guilty after he was arrested for pulling a knife on a nightclub bouncer in February. Black received a new suspension and will miss the two exhibition games and the first four regular-season games of the 2016-17 campaign.

Nunn originally faced two counts of domestic battery, but those were dropped in favor of one count of misdemeanor battery, which Nunn pleaded guilty to on Wednesday, admitting he hit a female victim.

The sentences of neither Nunn nor Black included jail time.

Though the statuses of Nunn and Tate remain mysteries, the myriad questions facing the Illini this offseason have nearly all been answered. Wednesday also saw the NCAA grant big man Mike Thorne Jr. a sixth year of eligibility, ensuring he'll be in the fold for Groce this fall.

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.

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.