Big Ten

Report: Rest of Big Ten media rights go to ESPN for $1.14 billion


Report: Rest of Big Ten media rights go to ESPN for $1.14 billion


Big paydays are no rarity in the Big Ten, but the conference's latest reported media rights deals are giving new meaning to "perks of membership."

According to a Monday morning report from the Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, ESPN will shell out $1.14 billion over six years for the second half of the Big Ten's media rights package, meaning the conference's average media rights payout will almost triple.

In April, Fox was reported to have purchased the first half of the package, which begins after the upcoming college basketball season concludes, for an average of $240 million a year.

Additionally, CBS re-upped its basketball deal with the Big Ten, meaning another $10 million a year. All in all, between three deals with three networks for the media rights to football and men's basketball games, the conference will bring in $2.64 billion over the next six years.

And the length of those deals is significant, as well, as the conference will get to do this all over again just six years from now.

According to Ourand, the terms of the new deals with Fox and ESPN include roughly 25 football games and 50 basketball games for each network. Big Ten Network (of which Fox owns 51 percent) will still show its typical allotment of games, as well.

Fox will carry the Big Ten Championship Game every year for the next six years, and Fox will have "game selection advantages" over ESPN, meaning the biggest games will go to Fox (see: Michigan-Ohio State).

From Ourand:

Before each season, the networks will pick the weeks where they get first choice of games. Fox will have the first pick every year; ESPN will have the second; Fox will have the third, and so on.

Also, fewer Big Ten games will be shown on ESPN U, with most ESPN games airing on ABC, ESPN and ESPN 2.

CBS will continue to air the semifinals and title game of the Big Ten Tournament.

The massive amount of money is just added benefit for the conference's 14 schools, which will see a big infusion of cash.

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.