Big Ten

Watch Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan graduate from Rutgers

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Watch Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan graduate from Rutgers

This past season, Rutgers didn't just have student-athletes as a part of its basketball program. It also had a student-coach.

Head basketball coach Eddie Jordan has been working to complete his degree from what is now officially his alma mater after it was discovered when he was hired that he hadn't completed his degree back in the 1970s when he attended Rutgers. His old course of study no longer exists, so Jordan has been taking classes just like thousands of other students to complete his degree in the School of Management and Labor Relations at the university.

This weekend, he received his degree and walked in the school's commencement ceremony, an experience that you can tell from this Rutgers video, Jordan really seemed to enjoy.

[MORE BIG TEN: NCAA proposes numerous rule changes to speed up basketball]

"It was a lot of work, but it was no more than any other student," Jordan said in the video. "I even did extra credit when I could. But as far as putting both tasks together, being a coach and being a student, it was challenging but it was rewarding.

"It's been a distraction the last three weeks because I've been thinking about the festivities and the ceremonies and commencement as opposed to doing my last finals and my last papers, but it's finally here, I'm finally done. For the sacrifices my mother made to send me to school when I was in high school, that's why I wanted to walk. I wanted to go through the entire commencement, go through the whole ceremonies. I just want to be a normal student. I know I'm not, but I enjoy it like I would if I would've graduated in '77."

It's really cool that Jordan participated in the commencement ceremony with his fellow students. And as he somewhat addressed in the video, it seems he now has at least a little bit of a first-hand idea of what his players are going through when it comes to time management and balancing school and basketball in the 21st century.

Congratulations, coach!

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.