Big Ten

Michigan's Jabrill Peppers criticizes NCAA over food money on Twitter

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Michigan's Jabrill Peppers criticizes NCAA over food money on Twitter

Jabrill Peppers might not be advocating for unionization, but he's criticizing the NCAA nonetheless.

The redshirt freshman Michigan defensive back sent out a few tweets Tuesday night complaining about the money the NCAA supplies for food and implying that it's not enough to eat the way a football player is supposed to eat, going as far as using the term "indentured servant."

[MORE BIG TEN: Illini AD announces steps to better serve student-athletes]

Wednesday morning, he appeared to be aggravated that his tweets got the attention they did and the implication that he was advocating for student-athletes becoming paid employees. But he also kept on making his case.

The NCAA has taken steps to make food more available to student-athletes in recent years. The particular issue — which is one of many in the complicated discussion over whether student-athletes should be compensated or represented by a union — got national attention when former UConn basketball player Shabazz Napier told reporters after his team won a national championship that "there are hungry nights when I go to bed and I'm starving."

Since Napier made those comments, the NCAA and the Power 5 conferences separately have taken steps to make things better in that regard. The NCAA was ridiculed for its well-intended implementation of "unlimited snacks," while the Power 5 conferences took big steps under the new autonomy structure to establish, among other reforms, full cost-of-attendance measures to provide student-athletes with extra money in addition to their regular scholarships.

Peppers, however, still seems to be finding it difficult to fill his stomach.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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USA TODAY

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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USA TODAY

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.