It has been a difficult calendar year for the Illinois Athletic Department and its basketball program. Tuesday afternoon's dismal of to-be senior guard Kendrick Nunn was just the latest development in a multitude of off-the court issues from the program.
Nunn was arrested on March, 17th, less than a week after Illinois' season came to an end in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. Neighbors called when they heard an argument coming from a woman's apartment, the police showed up and both Nunn and the woman claimed nothing happened. Some time later in the day, the woman involved called the police and said that and incident had occurred leading to Nunn's arrest.
For a full description of the initial arrest, you can check out the News Gazette's story here.
Nunn was immediately placed on an indefinite suspension from the basketball program following the arrest. Nunn pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor battery charges brought against him last week.
"We have not reached this decision easily,"recently hired Athletic Director Josh Whitman and Head Coach John Groce said in a joint statement. "We care deeply about Kendrick and want him to be successful. But after extensive deliberation, we think it best for our program to reaffirm our core values of trust and respect, to send a strong message about what is acceptable behavior for our student athletes at the University of Illinois, and to part ways with Kendrick."
The statement continued, "As it is on college campuses across the country, relationship violence is of significant concern at our University, and we expect Fighting Illini student-athletes to be leaders in promoting healthy, respectful, caring relationships. We wish Kendrick all the best as he prepares for the next chapter of his life."
Nunn becomes the second player dismissed from the team in the last year. Darius Paul was removed from the program after vandalizing cars and resisting arrest during the teams trip to France in August.
Jaylon Tate was also on an indefinite suspension for a domestic dispute arrest that occurred the weekend following Nunn's arrest. However, Tate's charges were dropped and he was reinstated to the program last week.
On the floor, Illinois loses its second leading scorer from last season, as Nunn averaged 15.1 points per game, 5 rebounds and shot nearly 43-percent from the floor.
To this point, all players that have been in trouble within the Illinois program have had their final punishments handed down.