Big Ten

Northwestern to break ground on lakefront athletics complex


Northwestern to break ground on lakefront athletics complex

After a whole lot of waiting, Northwestern is finally ready to break ground on its much-anticipated lakefront athletics complex.

The school announced Friday that the groundbreaking ceremony will be held Nov. 13 and that construction will begin immediately.

The complex has two main components: Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center. The fieldhouse will house an indoor field for football practice and many other uses, as well as a new weight room, locker rooms and sports medicine facilities. The Walter Athletics Center will be the headquarters for the football program, with offices, meeting rooms, locker rooms and a weight room, as well as a nutrition center, dining room and academic offices benefitting all student-athletes.

The positives for student-athletes are numerous, but chief among them might be location. The new complex will be on the lakefront campus in Evanston. Currently, facilities for the football team and other athletes are located at Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena, about a mile west of campus.

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The new complex is expected to provide a big recruiting advantage for Northwestern football.

"This is a landmark day for our entire campus community," Northwestern athletics director Jim Phillips said in the announcement. "Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center will provide the finest support, training and developmental facilities for Northwestern student-athletes in an incomparable location. This transformational facility will seamlessly integrate athletics into the heart of campus, offer new recreational opportunities for Northwestern students, faculty and staff and enhance the use of the lakefront by the entire Evanston community. We are tremendously excited to begin construction and realize this vision."

Construction on some of the project's aspects began over the summer, with a new outdoor football practice field and renovations of fields for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse already underway.

Northwestern included this rendering in the announcement:

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.