Big Ten

Star receiver Leonte Carroo the latest Rutgers player arrested


Star receiver Leonte Carroo the latest Rutgers player arrested

Leonte Carroo is indefinitely suspended, Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood told reporters Sunday. And now we know why.

The Rutgers University Police Department released a statement Monday confirming that Carroo, the Scarlet Knights' star wide receiver, was arrested after Saturday's game and charged with simple assault under domestic violence.

Flood wouldn't go into details about why Carroo had been suspended and refused to talk much about it during his weekly press conference Monday.

Carroo is the latest in a seemingly ever-growing number of Rutgers players to be arrested in the past few weeks. Of course, this incident has nothing to do with the arrests made of five Rutgers players shortly before the season-opener, when four players were charged with assault and another with robbery stemming from a home invasion. All five were dismissed from the program right before the Week 1 game against Norfolk State. Another player, a walk-on, was dismissed last week.

This is Carroo's second suspension of the season. He, along with several teammates, was suspended for the first half of the season-opener following a curfew violation.

Carroo was one of the Big Ten's top receivers a season ago and a near-unanimous pick by many media members to be one of its best in 2015. After his half-long suspension ended at halftime of the opener, he caught three passes for 129 yards and a trio of touchdowns.

[MORE BIG TEN: Big Ten Power Rankings: Spartans score season's most impressive win]

Flood spoke Monday, prior to the police statement, and he was asked whether the string of off-field incidents involving his players reflects on him.

"As the head coach, everything ultimately reflects on you, and it's part of the job. If you shy away from that, you probably shouldn't do the job," he said. "But I'm very comfortable that the people that know our program, the people who are invested in our program and the people that spend time with our program know the quality and the high-quality of the young men that we have down in that locker room right now.

"Working with young people for a living, we constantly are reminding them to put themselves in good positions, put themselves in good places, to make great decisions. Just like I do my own son. Just like do I my own daughter. Just like my dad did for me when I was growing up. And when they make mistakes does it hurt? It hurts. But it doesn't mean we stop loving them. And it doesn't mean we stop educating the young people that are in that locker room right now. No different than my father didn't stop loving me when I made mistakes growing up. No different than I don't stop loving my children when they make mistakes."

The off-field news — all of it negative — won't stop coming. In addition to the arrests and dismissals and suspensions, Flood is being investigated by the university for potentially violating a school rule that prohibits coaches from contacting faculty members regarding the grades of student-athletes. The player at the center of that investigation was one of the five players dismissed after those arrests.

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.