Big Ten

Purdue's Caleb Swanigan cleared to play by NCAA


Purdue's Caleb Swanigan cleared to play by NCAA

Just a few days after it was reported that the NCAA had yet to clear Purdue's top freshman Caleb Swanigan, the 6-foot-9 big man has apparently been cleared.

ESPN's Jeff Goodman tweeted Friday afternoon that Purdue head coach Matt Painter informed him that Swanigan had been cleared.

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Monday, Bleacher Report's Jason King reported that the NCAA was investigating Swanigan due to his relationship with former Boilermaker and current agent Roosevelt Barnes, who adopted Swanigan during his middle-school years.

The investigation generated a ton of criticism online, as observers — King included — pointed out that Barnes surely wasn't looking to exploit the young Swanigan, who at the time he was adopted weighed 360 pounds and saw family members battling issues with substance abuse, joblessness and criminal charges.

Swanigan was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Indiana following his senior year in high school and was rated as the No. 19 player in the Class of 2015 by Rivals.

He first committed to Michigan State before switching to Purdue back in the spring.

Swanigan should be ready to go for the Boilers' exhibition game against Northwestern Ohio on Nov. 8. Purdue's regular-season opener comes against North Carolina A&T on Nov. 13.

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.