Illinois linebacker Brown suspended against Indiana

Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown will not play in Saturday’s game against Indiana.

Illinois announced his suspension Monday morning after he kneed a Northwestern player in the groin after a play during Illinois’ 38-35 victory last Saturday against Northwestern.

“We are extremely disappointed by what happened on Saturday and Jonathan knows that,” Illinois head coach Ron Zook said in a press release. “We don’t condone that type of behavior in our program. I’ve talked to Jonathan and he understands that. He is a good person, a spiritual person, and no one feels worse about it than him. But he got caught up in the moment, made a serious mistake and must deal with the consequences.”

The Big Ten Conference issued a public reprimand for Brown’s actions and accepted the one-game suspension.

Brown’s actions came in the second quarter after a 1st and goal run for the Wildcats ended on the Illinois 7-yard-line. The resulting unsportsmanlike penalty moved the ball to the Illinois 3-yard-line. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa threw a touchdown pass on the next play to put the Wildcats up 14-7.

The sophomore stayed in the game and went on to lead Illinois in tackles with 11, including three unassisted. He’s started four games for Illinois this season and is tied for second on the team with 30 tackles, including six for a loss and two sacks.

“I apologize to my family, my teammates and the Illinois fans for letting them down,” Brown said in a press release. “I also would like to apologize to the Northwestern team for my actions. What I did was out of character and won’t happen again.”