Big Ten

Northwestern's Sean McEvilly retires after repeated injuries

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Northwestern's Sean McEvilly retires after repeated injuries

Northwestern announced Wednesday morning that defensive end Sean McEvilly has retired from football following repeated injury issues.

The defensive end played in only five games during the 2013 season due to a foot injury, and another foot injury knocked him out for the 2014 season before it even started. He's now been forced to end his football career because of "chronic orthopedic issues."

"It's disappointing to not be on the field opening camp this week, but this is the right decision not just for my health and future, but for the team," McEvilly said in the announcement. "I'm so thankful for the teammates and coaches I've competed alongside and the opportunity I've had at Northwestern over the last five years. I can't begin to express my gratitude to my parents for helping me reach this point. I will leave here as a two-time graduate of this university and will always be a Wildcat."

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McEvilly played in 19 games during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons, making 13 starts. He was expected to be a major contributor both this season and last before injuries cost him both of those years on the field.

"This has been an extremely difficult conclusion for Sean to reach, and it is the best one for him right now and for the long-term," head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in the announcement. "He's been an outstanding leader and mentor for his teammates whether on or off the field the last several years and will continue to be a big part of this team. It's been a privilege watching him develop as a young man, he has a tremendously bright future ahead of him."

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.