Former Fighting Illini basketball player Joseph Bertrand was arrested on Saturday morning for domestic battery. The News-Gazette reports that the Champaign police got involved after some sort of incident took place between Bertrand and his girlfriend; no other details have been made public yet. Bertrand joined Illinois' roster in 2009 and, after redshirting, he played with the program until graduating in 2014.
The state's attorney office hasn't charged Bertrand with any crime, but he's scheduled to be back in court this Wednesday so there's a possibility that may change. We'll make sure to keep you updated if/when any charges get filed later this week.
This is absolutely another black mark on the Illinois basketball program, however I don't think this particular scenario should have any bearing on John Groce and the current coaching staff. Bertrand did play two seasons under this regime, but that was almost three years ago. I've been hard on the program's leadership for past domestic violence cases, but the key difference is that they had direct, daily access to those accused parties. The same simply doesn't hold true this time around. So, in my opinion, any and all accountability stemming from this latest incident needs to rest with Bertrand, and Bertrand alone.
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Fighting Illini basketball will be looking for a new radio analyst this offseason. Former Illinois forward Jerry Hester has informed The News-Gazette of plans to step away from his broadcasting career. Hester has been providing color commentary on the team alongside play-by-play man Brian Barnhart since 2005.
Who will replace Jerry Hester on the sidelines? The athletic department seems to want another former player alongside Brian Barnhart, and there are plenty of names that could fit the bill. I think it'd be great if either Deon Thomas or Kendall Gill eventually landed the role.
Following four days of competition that spanned across the P&G Championships and Olympic Team Trials, five gymnasts and three alternates have been named to represent Team USA at the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics. Representing the University of Illinois in the four days of action were former Illini Paul Ruggeri ('12) and C.J. Maestas ('15)
The attention was mostly local his freshman season. Ke'Shawn Vaughn was named Illinois football's Offensive Newcomer of the Year after leading the team in rushing. Now the rest of the Big Ten Conference is starting to notice. Vaughn is listed among the top running backs in the league by preseason magazines.