Big Ten

Indiana AD vague, says 'philosophical differences' led to Kevin Wilson's resignation from Hoosiers

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Indiana AD vague, says 'philosophical differences' led to Kevin Wilson's resignation from Hoosiers

Philosophical differences. Apparently that's what brought Kevin Wilson's six-season tenure at Indiana to an end on Thursday.

After reports of Wilson's firing filtering in throughout the day Thursday, Indiana athletics director Fred Glass announced Thursday night that Wilson resigned from his position not a year after agreeing to a six-year contract extension in January.

Glass was incredibly vague throughout his lengthy press conference, alluding solely to general disagreements he and Wilson had over the leadership of the football program. Wilson will receive his base salary of around a half a million dollars over the next year but won't get anywhere close to the approximately $11 million left on his recently extended deal.

Succeeding Wilson not in an interim role but as the new permanent head football coach of the Hoosiers is defensive coordinator Tom Allen, who did a great job transforming a formerly paper-thin defense into a solid unit in just his first season with the program. Glass said Allen has a six-year deal as the new head coach.

Reports Thursday indicated the situation involving Wilson might have been a replay of the one that played out a year ago in Champaign, when Tim Beckman was fired as the head football coach at Illinois after an investigation into that program found support for claims that Beckman mistreated his players by forcing them to play while injured and holding an inappropriate amount of influence over the training staff.

Glass didn't do much to directly respond to those reports during his press conference but did emphasize that an outside law firm did take a look at the Indiana program and found no medical wrongdoing and that the program's medical staff was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing, seemingly dismissing the idea that Wilson was doing the same kind of things Beckman was at Illinois.

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Glass said there was no "smoking gun" or "precipitating event" that led to the separation between Wilson and Indiana. Glass did make some comments that might've been in the ballpark of condemning an old-school approach to coaching, one Wilson was described as having by outside observers Thursday on social media. But that could also be reading into something that's not there.

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Glass failed to move beyond the "philosophical differences" line, saying that issues between him and Wilson he thought were behind them — enough so to give the coach a six-year contract extension less than a year ago — bubbled up again recently.

The mention of "a pretty good run" seemed somewhat flippant considering Wilson was taking the Hoosiers to places they hadn't been in more than two decades. Indiana punched its ticket to a second consecutive bowl game with a win over rival Purdue last weekend, something this program hadn't done since 1991.

But again, Glass pointed to differences in the approach to leadership being the sticking point here, not football.

The end of an increasingly successful era for a program that has historically not experienced much success at all on the field perhaps stemmed from a not much more than a frayed relationship between an athletics director and a head football coach.

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.