Big Ten

Reports: Eddie Jordan out as head basketball coach at Rutgers

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Reports: Eddie Jordan out as head basketball coach at Rutgers

Eddie Jordan's tenure as the head basketball coach at his alma mater is over, according to a flurry of Thursday reports.

Rutgers reportedly fired Jordan on Thursday following his team's loss in the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday night in Indianapolis.

The Scarlet Knights have had a miserable showing in their first two seasons in the Big Ten, winning just three of the 36 regular-season conference games they've played.

Jordan led the Rutgers program for just three seasons, posting a 29-67 record in one season as a member of the American Athletic Conference and two in the Big Ten.

Jordan played at Rutgers from 1973 to 1977 and was an assistant there from 1988 to 1991. He had three head-coaching stints in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers.

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After Wednesday's loss to Nebraska, Jordan didn't want to talk about his job status, but he did talk about the optimism he had for the future of the program.

"All I know is we had growing pains," Jordan said. "And I told the team in the locker room, growing pains leads to positive gains for them in the near future. And they understand — 'they' being the young core group that we have — the physicality of the league, how to play in this league and how to play basketball, period, how to help your teammate. A lot of thing that young players — you have to almost break bad habits before they become executing good habits on a consistent basis. But it's fun working with them. They were energetic, they were wide-eyed, they wanted to learn, they wanted to get better. They had faith in me.

"In the immediate future, I think that in the spring everybody is ready to go with our spring workouts. And that will be a tremendous, tremendous different sort of team. I mean, Deshawn Freeman was the first team JUCO All-American. He averaged 15.5 points, almost seven rebounds for us for seven games. He was our best player. Nigel Johnson comes off of sitting out a year. He's one of the best guards I've ever seen. He's probably our best player that didn't play this year. So our future looks really bright in the immediate future, not two years down the line, but by the summer."

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.