Big Ten

Report: Nathan Scheelhaase to take job with Illini football

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Report: Nathan Scheelhaase to take job with Illini football

As the independent investigation into Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman continues, one former player feels good enough about his former coach to come back to the program.

According to a Tuesday report from the Champaign News-Gazette, former Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase will rejoin the Illini as the assistant director of football operations.

The job is one that was formerly held by another ex-Illini QB, Juice Williams, who took the gig a year ago when Scheelhaase turned it down.

[MORE BIG TEN: Huskers reportedly paying $1.65 million for 2017 game vs. Arkansas State]

Scheelhaase was a four-year starter at quarterback under both Beckman and his predecessor, Ron Zook. In his four years running the Illini offense, Scheelhaase accumulated 10,634 yards of total offense, leaving as the program's all-time leader in that category. He also ranks third on the school's all-time passing yardage list (8,568).

Scheelhaase hasn't sent out any personal tweets voicing his opinion on the situation involving former teammate Simon Cvijanovic and the accusations toward Beckman and his staff, but he did retweet many tweets sent out by other former teammates supporting Beckman and the program.

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.