Big Ten

Ohio State suspends Joey Bosa, three others for season opener

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Ohio State suspends Joey Bosa, three others for season opener

Ohio State on Thursday issued one-game suspensions to four players, headlined by junior defensive end Joey Bosa, for its season opener against Virginia Tech Sept. 7 in Blacksburg.

Bosa, senior receiver Corey Smith and sohpomore and junior H-backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson, respectively, were suspended for a violation of athletic department policy. ESPN's Joe Schad reported the suspensions were due to academics and marijuana, though did not specify individual players transgressions.

Coach Urban Meyer said he supports the suspensions, though admitted losing Bosa is a concern given the Buckeyes face a road game against a Virginia Tech team that beat them, 35-21, at home in Week 2 last year.

"I think the department has policies that we expect and I 100 percent am fully supportive of it," Meyer said. "Whether it's a sprained ankle or stuff, you try to create a culture where teams know how to move forward and not concern yourself. When we lost Braxton (Miller) 10 days before the first game, you lose JT (Barrett) a week before the Big Ten Championship game, you push forward. You know, we're pushing forward."

As a sophomore, Bosa paced Ohio State's championship-winning defense with 13 1/2 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss. He'll be replaced on the Buckeyes' defensive line by some combination of freshmen Sam Hubbard and Darius Slade and sophomores Jayln Holmes and Tyquan Lewis.

"One of the best defensive players in the United States of America won't play in that game," Meyer said.

Marshall and Wilson were triple threats for Ohio State last year. Marshall caught 38 passes for 499 yards with six touchdowns, rushed 25 times for 145 yards with a touchdown and returned 24 punts for 283 yards and a score; Wilson had 21 receptions for 300 yards and three touchdowns, rushed 18 times for 100 yards and averaged 24 yards per return on 22 kickoffs. Smith totaled 20 receptions for 255 yards in 2015.

Newly-converted wide receiver Braxton Miller should factor in replacing all three of the suspended skill players in Week 1 against Frank Beamer's Hokies.

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.