The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Terrence Shannon Jr. suspended from Illinois menʼs basketball following rape charge

Olivia McAfoos
Terrence Shannon sits on the bench before the Nov. 14 game vs. Marquette. Shannon was suspended from Illinois basketball on Thursday after being charged with rape.

Fifth-year guard Terrence Shannon Jr. was officially suspended from the Illinois menʼs basketball program on Thursday after being charged with rape per a press release.

“On Wednesday, the Douglas (Kansas) County District Attorney issued a warrant for the arrest of Terrence Shannon Jr. Per policy, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) has suspended Shannon from all team activities, effective immediately.”

According to the press release, the alleged incident occurred in September while Shannon was in Lawrence, Kansas to attend an Illinois football game against Kansas on Sept. 8. Shannon traveled on his own, not on official University business or as a part of any University travel party.

Officials have reported that Shannon traveled to Lawrence on Thursday where he presented himself to authorities and posted bail. Shannon is now returning to Champaign.

DIA and Urbana campus officials were made aware of a police investigation into Shannon in Lawrence back in late September but had not received actionable information until Wednesday.

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“The University and DIA have shown time and again that we have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct,” said Director of Athletics Josh Whitman 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.”

UPDATE: Shannonʼs attorney, Mark Sutter, released a statement on Thursday afternoon claiming Shannonʼs innocence and intention to take the case to trial.

“Since September, when these allegations surfaced, Terrence has cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation, declaring his innocence from the beginning,” Sutter stated. “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 for processing and release. Terrence is innocent of these charges, and he intends to take his case to trial.”

UPDATE: Further details about Shannon’s status within the program were revealed in a press conference from Whitman on December 29. Despite the University of Illinois Police Department understanding that there was a police investigation back in late September, it wasn’t made clear whether Shannon was the subject of the investigation or merely a witness. As a result, no action was deemed necessary in regards to suspending Shannon from team activities until it was confirmed to police on December 28 that Shannon was charged with rape in Lawrence.

Currently, Shannon is still suspended from working with the team but has not lost his status as a scholarship student athlete at Illinois.

“(Shannon) is suspended from team activities,” Whitman said. “So, he is still a scholarship student athlete at the University of Illinois, he still has access to certain support services and personnel but he will not be engaged with the team in any manner.”

According to Whitman, the next step is awaiting the status of Shannon’s suspension of a University conduct panel comprised of seven unnamed members within the University of Illinois system.

“Once (the suspension) happens, we then have a University conduct panel that is convened and will meet within 48 hours of the initial suspension,” Whitman said. “That panel exists independent of the athletic department, and it will determine using the information that we have available at that given time whether suspension should remain upheld or should be amended, or in some cases lifted all together.”

UPDATE: The decision of the panel was publicly announced on Jan. 8, where it was decided that Shannon’s suspension was to be upheld. In a letter addressed to Shannon on Jan. 3, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director Ryan Squire wrote the following:

“The Conduct Panel met today and determined that the interim action to withhold you from organized team activities should remain in place pending resolution of the charges against you stemming from the September 2023 incident in Kansas. You may not return to organized team basketball activities at this time.”

In response, Shannon filed a motion on Monday for a temporary restraining order against the University of Illinois in an attempt rejoin the team. Mark Goldenberg, one of Shannon’s attorneys, gave the following statement to 247:

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

UPDATE: Shannon’s motion for a temporary restraining order was approved by the U.S. Central District Court of Illinois on Jan. 19, allowing the guard to return to team activities with Illinois men’s basketball effective immediately.



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About the Contributor
James Kim
James Kim, Sports Editor
My name is James Kim and I’m a senior studying English with a minor in business. This is my third year with The Daily Illini and it’s been an amazing ride so far. When I joined in fall 2021, I began as a staff writer for the sports section where I covered women’s tennis. In spring 2022, I became an assistant sports editor and started covering soccer and Illinois men’s basketball. From spring 2023 onwards I’ve been working as the sports editor! In addition to being an Illini and Real Madrid fanatic, I also love watching movies and TV shows. If you have any questions about writing for The DI, you can reach me at my email below. I-L-L!
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