Big Ten

Illini guard Kendrick Nunn pleads guilty to misdemeanor battery

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Illini guard Kendrick Nunn pleads guilty to misdemeanor battery

Illinois senior guard Kendrick Nunn pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery on Wednesday.

Nunn, a Chicago native and Simeon High School product, was arrested on charges of domestic battery in March and originally faced two counts of domestic battery, though those were dropped in favor of the lone simple battery count.

As a result of the plea, Nunn was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision, 100 hours of community service, enrollment in a partner abuse intervention program, a written letter of apology and a $200 fine. If he does all those things, he will not receive a conviction. All those details from Mary Schenk of the Champaign News-Gazette.

Nunn was one of three Illinois players arrested earlier this year and facing unresolved legal situations heading into the offseason. Junior forward Leron Black was arrested in February after pulling a knife on a nightclub bouncer, and senior guard Jaylon Tate was arrested on charges of domestic battery in March unrelated to Nunn.

All three began the offseason serving indefinite suspensions.

Black's situation was resolved after he pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor version of his original charge and entered a second-chance program, completing 20 hours of public service and paying a $200 fine in addition to receiving a sentence of 12 months of conditional discharge. Black's indefinite suspension ended, and he was reinstated by head coach John Groce. Though a new suspension was levied, and Black will sit out two exhibition games and four regular-season games at the start of the 2016-17 season.

The futures of Nunn and Tate remain a mystery. Both remain suspended indefinitely, and there likely won't be any movement in Tate's status until his situation is resolved. Though a decision on Nunn could come soon from Groce, given that Nunn's legal situation has concluded.

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.