Big Ten

James Franklin doesn't like Miami talk, has 'hundred-percent' focus on Penn State


James Franklin doesn't like Miami talk, has 'hundred-percent' focus on Penn State

Not long removed from changing jobs, it doesn’t sound like James Franklin has much interest in doing it again any time soon.

At the very least, he doesn’t want to talk about any possibility of such a thing.

Franklin’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed the recently fire Al Golden as the head football coach at Miami. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd went as far as writing: “You keep hearing rumblings that Franklin would be interested.”

Franklin has a head-coaching gig, at Penn State, and was asked about the Miami job during his weekly press conference Tuesday.

“I don't like it. I think it causes into a distraction for our team. I think it's a distraction for Penn State. And I have no idea where it's coming from, whatsoever,” Franklin responded. “My family has sacrificed. I've worked my ass off to get to Penn State, to get here. And this is where I want to be. This is where I want to be. We’ve got a lot of work to do on the field. We’ve got a lot of work to do off the field in every aspect. But this is where I want to be. Stuff like that I guess some people could look at it as a compliment. I don't. My focus is a hundred percent on Penn State. Like I said, I've worked like crazy to get here.

“So not going to address it anymore, not going to talk about it anymore. This is where I want to be. This is where my family wants to be. This is where our staff wants to be. We've got a lot of work to do. That's really kind of the end of the discussion.”

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Penn State gear right here]

While there are currently multiple openings in the Big Ten — at Illinois and Maryland — this isn’t the first time a Big Ten head coach has been asked about an opening elsewhere. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was asked about the vacant position at South Carolina, his alma mater, after Steve Spurrier abruptly retired, and Dantonio had even less to say than Franklin did.

The speculation of departure could stem from the increasing level of competition in the Big Ten East. But the level of competition is in part being raised because of these coaches: Franklin, Dantonio, Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh.

Franklin to Miami? We’ll have to wait and see, but it certainly sounds like Franklin wants no part of this discussion.

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.