Big Ten

No more QBs wearing No. 98? Michigan to end 'legends' jerseys

devin-gardner-michigan-0728.png

No more QBs wearing No. 98? Michigan to end 'legends' jerseys

It's unlikely we'll ever see another Michigan quarterback wearing No. 98.

The Wolverines announced Tuesday that they're ending the "legends" jerseys, which gave one legendary jersey number to a current player. It's why former quarterback Devin Gardner wore No. 98, to honor former Michigan running back Tom Harmon. Instead, the program will retire six legendary numbers: Harmon's No. 98, the No. 48 of Gerald Ford, the No. 21 of Desmond Howard, the No. 87 of Ron Kramer, the No. 47 of Bennie Oosterbaan and the No. 11 worn by brothers Albert, Alvin and Whitey Wistert.

Those six numbers will be retired during the regular-season finale against Ohio State.

[MORE BIG TEN: Delton Williams rejoining Michigan State next month]

“During the search process for our new football coach, I had a meeting with the Michigan Football team and they expressed their feelings associated with wearing these legendary jerseys,” Michigan athletics director Jim Hackett said in the team's announcement. “At one end of the spectrum they are awed by the legacy of the men who wore them and at the other end of the spectrum, and as part of a team sport, they wondered why we would call attention to one of our team members. I brought this issue to our new head coach Jim Harbaugh. He agreed with me that it needed a review. I then talked to the families of these great Michigan players. I called them directly and laid out the paradox of seeing players as a team and the due respect to these individual great players.

“The right plan is to retire them and display them in Towsley Museum which is connected to Schembechler Hall. Because we don’t have the display area inside the stadium, we have found an area on the concourse where fans can see and honor these retired jerseys.”

Of the six, only Howard's No. 21 has yet to be formally retired by Michigan. Howard won the Heisman Trophy back in 1991.

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

jeremy_larkin.jpg
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

anderson.jpg
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.