Big Ten

J.T. Barrett to forfeit some scholarship money, Braxton Miller is Buckeyes' backup QB


J.T. Barrett to forfeit some scholarship money, Braxton Miller is Buckeyes' backup QB

J.T. Barrett’s one-game suspension shouldn’t have too great an effect on the Buckeyes’ chances against Minnesota on Saturday. Cardale Jones will start at quarterback, just like he did in Ohio State’s first seven games this season, all of which ended in Buckeye wins.

But what Barrett’s suspension could have an effect on moving forward is Barrett.

Head coach Urban Meyer met with the media Monday, two days after news of Barrett’s citation for operating a vehicle while intoxicated earned him a one-game suspension. Meyer relayed some of the things he and Barrett talked about in wake of the incident, and among them were how Barrett will have to deal with the perception people have of him in the wake of this.

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“I love J.T., I'm not ashamed to say that. He's like a child. He's like one of my favorite guys I've ever got to coach," Meyer said. "J.T.'s going to have to deal with something that he's never had to deal with. When they say, 'You're too short, you don't run fast enough, your arm strength isn't good enough, you're just an average quarterback,' you can deal with that. You just outwork it. It's a little bit like when a coach (is told), 'You're not a good coach,' OK we're not a good coach.

"When they start attacking who you are, especially people who don't know who you are, and I told him, that's the toughest thing he'll ever have to deal with is that now there's some question as to who you are. And I imagine he's never had to deal with that. Because J.T.'s always been J.T.

"And, yes, he may be a little too short, his arm strength maybe not that — he can deal with that. How do you deal with that? You work a little harder. How do you deal with, what is he 20 years of doing right and 30 seconds of doing wrong — or three minutes, whatever it was. That's real though. And that's something he's going to have to deal with.

"I'm going to try to help him. We all are going to try to help him. Because that's the toughest thing that he'll have to deal with as far as protecting his name."

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Meyer also said that Barrett will forfeit part of his scholarship as punishment for the transgression. Ohio State specified that this means Barrett will forfeit summer aid, which is discretionary.

As for the on-field stuff, the Buckeyes will be without a guy who’s accounted for 12 of their touchdowns over the past three games. Barrett earned the starting quarterback job for the first time this season ahead of Ohio State’s win over Penn State, and he was responsible for five total touchdowns in that win.

Meyer said Monday that Jones will be the starter at quarterback and that Braxton Miller, who switched positions from quarterback to wide receiver ahead of this season, will be the backup if he is needed. Likely that would only occur in the event of an injury to Jones.

“As of right now it would be Braxton," Meyer said. "We're right in the middle of those conversations. But there's no question that he's our No. 2 quarterback."

Miller made the switch to receiver partially because he wasn't able to throw the way he did before a pair of shoulder injuries wiped out his 2014 season. He's thrown one pass this season, a three-yard completion.

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.