Big Ten

Michigan's Jim Harbaugh unloads on Ohio State AD on Twitter

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Michigan's Jim Harbaugh unloads on Ohio State AD on Twitter

The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State didn't become one of sports' best because everyone on both sides was nice to each other all the time.

Tuesday brought another chapter to that rivalry, featuring two of its main modern-day players.

You remember Jim Harbaugh's practice at a Florida high school that got everyone all riled up, right? Well, people are still talking about it, with Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith the latest to weigh in. He talked to reporters about it Tuesday and raised some eyebrows with what looked — to some — like a not-so-subtle jab at Michigan.

"We're talking about spring practice. What's my man's name? Allen Iverson? We're talking about practice, man," Smith said. His quotes were published by Cleveland.com. "So the reality is I wouldn't do that, I wouldn't support taking that time away from our student-athletes.

"Is it creative? Does it help from a recruiting and marketing point of view? I get that. If we were jumpstarting our program I'd probably try and do that, too. But we're not jumpstarting our program. We're in a different place."

[MORE BIG TEN: Lovie Smith's Illini coaching staff finally complete]

Some disagree that Michigan is "jumpstarting" its football program, one of the winningest programs in college football history and one of the biggest brand names in the sport, even after some down years before Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor. But Harbaugh led the Wolverines to 10 wins last season, with many projecting that the Big Ten East will come down to Ohio State and Michigan this upcoming season. That being said, there was work to be done following the tenures of Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, which saw the Wolverines fall from their historic powerhouse status.

Well, nuance be damned, Harbaugh isn't one to let someone say something about him and his program without responding, and he unleashed a venomous tweet Tuesday night.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Michigan gear right here]

Wow. Not only is Harbaugh going directly after Smith by name — his past Twitter attacks have been a bit less obvious — but he's referencing the NCAA violations that resulted in the end of Jim Tressel's tenure as Ohio State head coach and earned the Buckeyes' football program sanctions from the NCAA.

Some might consider that a low blow. Harbaugh went full steam ahead.

Again, this is the best rivalry in sports. And it's not always nice.

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.