Big Ten

Five players arrested, suspended as things get even worse at Rutgers


Five players arrested, suspended as things get even worse at Rutgers

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse at Rutgers, things got a whole lot worse at Rutgers.

Five Rutgers football players were arrested Thursday for their involvement in myriad crimes committed by a host of people. There are 10 defendants in total over multiple cases, but five currently are members of a Rutgers football program making an endless stream of headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Sophomore defensive back Dre Boggs was charged with robbery, burglary while armed, conspiracy to commit an armed robbery and attempted burglary while armed in multiple home invasions.

Separately, a group of six people — including four Rutgers players — were charged with aggravated assault, riot and conspiracy to commit a riot after attacking a group of people back in April. Those players were junior defensive back Ruhann Peele, junior defensive back Nadir Barnwell, sophomore full back Razohnn Gross and junior defensive back Delon Stephenson.

Those five players have been suspended, Rutgers athletics director Julie Hermann announced Thursday.

"The students involved are currently suspended from our program,'' Hermann said in the announcement. "We continue to monitor the situation. We will have no further comment as this is a pending legal matter.''

[MORE BIG TEN: Week 1 Big Ten previews: Let the games begin]

Barnwell is also in the news this week for the university's investigation into head coach Kyle Flood. Flood allegedly sent an email to one of Barnwell's professors to talk about Barnwell's grades. That would violate a school rule, and if it's found that is what happened, Flood could be facing severe punishment, which some reports and social-media chatter mention could include losing his job.

Speaking with reporters after practice on Thursday, Flood said he expects to coach Saturday's season-opening game against Norfolk State.

Peele is one of the five players suspended for the first half of the opener, along with wide receiver Leonte Carroo, quarterback Chris Laviano, linebacker Kevin Marquez and punter Tim Gleeson. Those suspensions are for missed curfew, and Flood told reporters Laviano also used a fake I.D.

In addition to the ever-growing list of off-the-field issues, Rutgers will also be without its best defensive player, as defensive lineman Darius Hamilton is injured. And the team's quarterback decision has yet to be resolved, with Flood saying it'll be a halftime decision between Hayden Rettig and Laviano. Rettig is starting the game while Laviano serves his one-half suspension.

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.