Big Ten

Illini reinstate Jaylon Tate from indefinite suspension


Illini reinstate Jaylon Tate from indefinite suspension

A day after domestic battery charges against Illinois senior guard Jaylon Tate were dismissed, the Illini announced that Tate has been reinstated from his indefinite suspension.

Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman said in a statement that Tate's suspension, which has been in effect since Tate was arrested in March, has ended.

"Jaylon Tate has been fully reinstated to the men’s basketball program, effective immediately," Whitman's said. "Yesterday, the State’s Attorney’s office concluded it could not prove its case against Jaylon. Based on the information we have reviewed, we are confident that Jaylon is indeed innocent.

"Jaylon has shown exceptional character during this unfortunate situation, and in light of yesterday’s decision and our own conclusions, we have welcomed Jaylon back to the program. We encourage our community and fans to do the same.

"We have more than 500 student-athletes in the Fighting Illini family. Some of them were involved in this case in various capacities, and it is important to remember that at all times, but especially during difficult times such as this, we encourage them to be empowered and informed. We support each of them individually and remain committed to fostering an environment that allows each student every opportunity to have a successful experience."

Whitman went on to say that the status of Kendrick Nunn — like Tate, a Chicago native and Simeon High School product — remains unchanged. Nunn was suspended in March following his arrest on domestic battery charges, and he pleaded guilty earlier this week to one count of misdemeanor battery.

"Kendrick Nunn’s court case was also resolved this week," Whitman said. "We are continuing to consider Kendrick’s situation and will have no further comment at this time."

With Tate reinstated, Nunn's status remains the only unresolved roster question the Illini faced heading into the offseason. Junior forward Leron Black received a six-game suspension after he pleaded guilty following his arrest for pulling a knife on a nightclub bouncer in February. And center Mike Thorne Jr. was this week granted a sixth year of eligibility, allowing him to suit up for the Illini this fall after he missed the majority of last season with an injury.

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.