Big Ten

Illini's Jaylon Tate indefinitely suspended after arrest


Illini's Jaylon Tate indefinitely suspended after arrest

Saturday, junior guard Jaylon Tate became the latest Illinois basketball player arrested. And now he's the latest Illinois basketball player to receive an indefinite suspension.

Athletics director Josh Whitman and head basketball coach John Groce released a joint statement Saturday in the hours after Tate's arrest for domestic battery announcing that the Chicago native and Simeon High School product has been suspended indefinitely.

"We are aware of the allegations against men's basketball student-athlete Jaylon Tate. Tate has been indefinitely suspended from all team activities pending legal proceedings and an investigation into the allegations. It is important that we take time to fully understand the events of last evening before passing judgment. We condemn domestic violence in all its forms and will move swiftly and decisively if these allegations are substantiated."

The last part of that statement makes it clear that Tate's time with the Illini will end should his alleged actions be proven to have occurred.

Tate was arrested Saturday morning and is scheduled to appear in court on Sunday, according to the Champaign News Gazette.

Tate's arrest comes not even a full month after Illinois sophomore forward Leron Black was arrested and charged with pulling a knife on a nightclub bouncer. Groce suspended Black indefinitely prior to Whitman's start date as the school's new athletics director and is waiting for the legal process to occur.

Tate and Black make it three Illinois players arrested in the last eight months. 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.

Just a week ago, Whitman gave Groce a vote of confidence, saying during a radio interview that Groce will continue to be the Illinois head basketball coach despite three straight seasons without a trip to the NCAA tournament. Certainly Tate's arrest added to those of Black and Paul, plus suspensions of two players a season ago, could change Groce's status with his athletics director and throw his future back into doubt. But all that remains to be seen.

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.