Illinois star Terrence Shannon Jr. to return to team amid rape case

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


Terrence Shannon Jr.’s request for a temporary restraining order on Friday was granted by a federal judge, allowing the fifth-year Illinois guard to rejoin the team and continue play, just weeks after his December arrest — and subsequent team suspension — on a felony rape charge.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Lawless ruled the school had violated the player’s civil rights, the Associated Press reported.

University of Illinois associate chancellor Robin Kaler issued a statement Friday, saying Shannon “has been reinstated to full status as a University student-athlete and will be eligible for basketball practice and competition.”

The school added that it “will continue to review the Court Order and monitor the case.”

Per the AP, the school still has the right to appeal.


Illinois' Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) heads to the basket as Missouri's Tamar Bates (2) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game.
Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) heads to the basket as Missouri’s Tamar Bates (2) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game. AP

Shannon, through his legal team, said he is pleased to be back on the basketball court.

“[Shannon] is grateful for today’s ruling and looking forward to playing for the Illini again,” the statement said. “[Shannon] is also thankful to his legal team, lead counsel Rob Lang, Steve Beckett, Mark Goldenberg, Zoe Spector, Tom Horscroft, and Mark Sutter.”

On X, Shannon posted that he is “grateful for the opportunity to re-join my teammates and get back to work.”

Shannon was arrested in December for the alleged September incident while he was in Lawrence, Kansas for an Illinois-Jayhawks football game.

A woman at a bar claimed Shannon grabbed and sexually touched her, the AP reported.

He turned himself in and was released on $50,000 bail.

After an arrest warrant was issued, Illinois suspended him from team activities.

On Jan. 8, the basketball star took action of his own, stating he was ready to mount legal action against the university to allow him to continue playing for the team while facing the rape charge.

“TJ has constantly maintained his innocence,” Goldenberg told 247 Sports. “All he wants is a fair process and we don’t believe he’s gotten that yet.”

His lawyers claimed the university made a “rush to judgment” and used an “unfair” process when deciding on the suspension.


Illinois' Terrence Shannon Jr. brings the ball down the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri
Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr. brings the ball down the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri. AP

Last season, Shannon was a First-Team All-Big Ten member.

He has held an average of 21.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 11 games this season.





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