Big Ten

Huskers lose another senior star for bowl game as Nathan Gerry ruled academically ineligible

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USA TODAY

Huskers lose another senior star for bowl game as Nathan Gerry ruled academically ineligible

Nebraska is staring at a de facto road environment for next week’s Music City Bowl against Tennessee.

And being without two of its best players surely won’t make things any easier.

We already knew that senior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp will miss the Music City Bowl while he recovers from surgery to repair an injury to his meniscus.

But Thursday, Nebraska head coach Mike Riley announced that senior safety Nathan Gerry will also miss the team’s final game of the season, deemed ineligible by the university. The university-imposed suspension ends Gerry’s collegiate career.

Riley didn’t go into too much detail, though Gerry elaborated in a message posted on Twitter on Thursday night.

“As coach Riley has announced, I have been declared academically ineligible for the Music City Bowl game,” Gerry wrote on Twitter. “I did not fulfill my academic responsibilities this semester, and I want to apologize to my teammates and to Husker Nation.

“I am very grateful for the experiences I have had at Nebraska and am extremely disappointed that my Husker football career has ended in this manner.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me during my time in Lincoln. You have made this journey for my family and me unforgettable. It has been an honor for me to play for Nebraska. Always and forever, GBR!”

Gerry intercepted four passes this season and ranked second on the Huskers with 74 total tackles. He made seven tackles for loss and recorded half a sack.

In his career, Gerry tallied nine interceptions to go along with 199 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

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

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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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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.