Big Ten

Report: Minnesota players planning to threaten boycott of Holiday Bowl over suspended teammates

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USA TODAY

Report: Minnesota players planning to threaten boycott of Holiday Bowl over suspended teammates

Could the 10 suspensions handed out at Minnesota lead to a boycott of the Gophers' bowl game?

That's the latest from the Star Tribune, which reported Thursday that after a players-only meeting, the team is planning to threaten a boycott of the Holiday Bowl over indefinite suspensions handed out to 10 players, five of whom are reportedly facing expulsion from the school.

Obviously, the team is opposed to those suspensions, hence the team's action.

Earlier this week, the university announced the suspensions for 10 players, which stemmed from an investigation into an incident in early September, where a sexual assault was alleged.

A police investigation into that incident yielded no charges, and restraining orders against a handful of players were lifted in early November. But this new investigation done by the university's office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action produced far different results.

Ten players have been indefinitely suspended. Five are facing expulsion: KiAnte Hardin, Ray Buford, Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson and Carlton Djam. Four are facing a one-year suspension: Antoine Winfield Jr., Seth Green, Mark Williams and Kobe McCrary. And one, Antonio Shenault, could receive probation. All those details from the Star Tribune.

The Gophers are slated to take on the Washington State Cougars in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 in San Diego.

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

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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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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.