Big Ten

Big Ten

For the second time in the past month, an Illinois basketball player was arrested.

Not 24 hours after Illinois' basketball season ended in Indianapolis, junior guard Jaylon Tate was arrested for domestic battery Saturday in Champaign, according to the Champaign News Gazette.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Sunday.

This is the second time in the past several weeks that a member of the team has been arrested. Sophomore forward Leron Black was arrested for and charged with allegedly pulling a knife on a nightclub bouncer on Feb. 19.

It's the third arrest of an Illinois player in the last eight months, as Darius Paul was arrested and charged with vandalism, public intoxication and resisting arrest in France during the team's summer European trip. When the Illini returned to the United States, Groce dismissed Paul from the program.

This has now become a disturbing trend for John Groce's program. Just a week ago, new Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman gave Groce his vote of confidence, saying Groce would continue to be the Illini coach despite a third straight season without an NCAA tournament appearance. But a second legal issue in a month that adds to the list of off-the-court issues — in addition to these arrests, two members of last year's team were suspended for several games — could once again throw Groce's immediate future into question.

 

Tate, a Chicago native and Simeon High School product, played in 30 of Illinois' 34 games this season, starting 15 but averaging just 1.8 points per game and 2.5 assists per game in 17.5 minutes per game. He's played in 95 total games in his three seasons with the Illini.