NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Tennessee

Illinois star wing Terrence Shannon Jr. has been suspended indefinitely after being charged with rape, the program announced Thursday. The Douglas County (Kansas) District Attorney issued an arrest warrant for Shannon on Wednesday in connection with a Sept. 8 incident, which allegedly occurred while Shannon was attending an Illini football game against the Kansas Jayhawks. 

The university specified that Shannon was "not in Lawrence on official University business, nor was he a member of the University's travel party." Shannon returned to Kansas on Thursday to turn himself in and posted bail before traveling back to Illinois. The university acknowledged that it was aware of an investigation into Shannon since late September but had not received "actionable information" until Wednesday.

"Since September, when these allegations surfaced, Terrence has cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation, declaring his innocence from the beginning," said Shannon's attorney Mark P. Sutter in a statement." Now, several months later, my office learned that formal charges were filed against him yesterday in Lawrence, KS. In less than 24 hours, my client responded, and he voluntarily surrendered to local authorities. Terrence is innocent of these charges, and he intends to take his case to trial." 

"The University and DIA (Division of Intercollegiate Athletics) have shown time and again that we have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct," Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said in a statement. "At the same time, DIA policy affords student-athletes appropriate levels of due process based on the nature and severity of the allegations. We will rely on that policy and our prior experiences to manage this situation appropriately for the University and the involved parties."

The suspension is a significant blow for the Illini, who climbed to No. 11 in this week's AP Top 25 following a 97-73 win over rival Missouri last Friday. Shannon leads Illinois in scoring at 21.7 points per game, which is second only to Purdue star Zach Edey in the Big Ten.

Shannon is shooting a career-best 40.8% from beyond the arc and rates as the team's second-best defender, according to The 6-foot-6 Shannon is in his fifth season of college basketball and second at Illinois after playing three seasons at Texas Tech. He is ranked No. 27 in the 2024 CBS Sports NBA Draft Prospect Rankings.