Big Ten

Michigan's Aubrey Dawkins transferring to play for father at Central Florida

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Michigan's Aubrey Dawkins transferring to play for father at Central Florida

Michigan is losing another player to transfer, but this instance shouldn't be saddled with the same controversy of the two other departures this offseason.

The Wolverines announced Wednesday that Aubrey Dawkins is leaving the program with the intention of playing for his father, who was hired as the new head coach at Central Florida last month.

"While we certainly did not wish for this to happen, it is quite understandable," Michigan head coach John Beilein said in the announcement. "I was able to coach my son and see him grow as a person and player, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Aubrey is a wonderful and thoughtful young man who has a bright future in front of him. We wish him well."

"This was not an easy decision, however, the chance to play for my father is a special opportunity for me and my family," Dawkins said in the announcement. "Coach Beilein and Michigan took a chance on me, and that is something I will never forget. I want to thank all the coaches, staff and especially the U-M fans for making my time in Ann Arbor truly special. Go Blue."

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Dawkins impressed as a freshman, one of several young players to gain valuable experience while Michigan's stars sat out with injuries. He averaged seven points a game in 20.7 minutes a game during the 2014-15 season, scoring 20 points in the Big Ten opener against Illinois and scoring a total of 52 points in the final two games of the regular season against Northwestern and Rutgers.

This past season, however, Dawkins' minutes weren't as frequent. He averaged just 6.5 points per game in 15.8 minutes per game, though his averages in rebounding, assists and steals were up. He scored in double figures just five times during Big Ten play and just once over the Wolverines' final 12 games.

Johnny Dawkins, Aubrey's father, was hired as the new head coach at Central Florida after nine seasons as the head coach at Stanford.

Aubrey Dawkins will have to sit out the upcoming season, per NCAA transfer rules. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

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.