Big Ten

Tom Allen is Hoosiers' permanent head football coach after Kevin Wilson's resignation

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USA TODAY

Tom Allen is Hoosiers' permanent head football coach after Kevin Wilson's resignation

Indiana native Tom Allen is the Hoosiers' head football coach. Permanently.

On the same day that Kevin Wilson resigned as Indiana's head coach, his first-year defensive coordinator was given not an interim tag but the permanent position of his successor.

Wilson resigned Thursday morning, Indiana athletics director Fred Glass telling reporters Thursday night that "philosophical differences" persisted between the two, leading to an agreement that a separation was best.

"My heart breaks for him," Allen said during Thursday night's press conference." I never expected for this to happen. However, he believed in me, and he gave me a charge when I came here: to be the head coach of the defense, to change the culture on that side of the ball. And that's what we did."

Allen was brought in last offseason to fix a defense that was trounced by almost every opposing offense in recent years under Wilson, and that's just what he did, engineering an exceptional transformation that saw Indiana rank in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten after coming in dead last a season ago.

This season, the Hoosiers allowed an average of 27.3 points a game and 372.6 total yards a game. Those numbers don't wow when compared with the best defenses in the country — several of which reside in the Big Ten — but it's a monumental improvement considering where this defense was a year ago.

Allen is a native of New Castle, Ind., and arrived in Bloomington after spending one year as the defensive coordinator at South Florida. Prior to that, he spent three seasons as the special teams coordinator at Ole Miss.

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.