Big Ten

Mike Riley confirms five Huskers suspended for season opener


Mike Riley confirms five Huskers suspended for season opener

Mike Riley is laying down the law.

The new Huskers head coach announced to reporters Thursday night that five players will be suspended for the team's season-opener against BYU on Sept. 5.

Word of the suspensions got out before Thursday, with a story in the Portland Tribune breaking that news after the reporter sat in with Riley during a meeting and reported on conversations between the head coach and assistants. That story said five players would be suspended, including a defensive starter.

But Thursday night, Riley made it more official. He wouldn't say who the players are or why they are being suspended, only indicating a "team violation." But he made it known that the Huskers will be short handed during their first game of the season.

[MORE BIG TEN: Michigan first football program to team with Michael Jordan's brand]

"We're gonna have five guys suspended for the first game," Riley told reporters. Video of his comments was posted by the Omaha World Herald. "Didn't want it to come out exactly like this, but I did want it to come out early. I'm not gonna give you their names, and I'm not gonna give you why but it was obviously a team violation. And then we will be anxious to have those guys back in the fold after that."

Riley talked at length about the decision-making process he wants his players to go through.

"You can have a book this thick that has every idea that you can come up with about rules. And then all of a sudden, you run into something that's not in the book," Riley said. "So it's not that we don't talk about the specifics. I do, every meeting, talk about some specific about choices, but like I tell them, if they really sit down and think about it in the cool of the evening by themselves when nobody's influencing them and they are thinking about doing this and not doing this, they know the right thing. They really do. We all can do that. Now, we all know, too, they're young and they get involved with other stuff that influences what they're doing. But the real crux of the matter is, there is a choice and there is a right and there is a wrong. So doing the right thing, to me, is simple and it covers a lot of bases."

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.