Illinois basketball star Terrence Shannon Jr. has been reinstated from his suspension after a federal judge granted his motion for a temporary restraining order against the school.
Shannon sought the order against the school’s board of trustees earlier this month, so he could return from a suspension after being charged with rape last month.
The guard was granted a preliminary injunction by U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless, and the school confirmed Shannon would rejoin the team “immediately.”
“Terrence Shannon Jr. has been reinstated to full status as a university student-athlete and will be available for basketball practice and competition,” the school said, via 24/7 Sports. “We will continue to review the court order and monitor the case.”
“The Plaintiff has established that he has clearly ascertainable rights that need protection and there is some likelihood of success on the merits,” Lawless wrote. “The Court further finds that Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law and will suffer irreparable harm without an injunction.
“The potential harm to Plaintiff outweighs any harm to the University. The public interest is not harmed by granting injunctive relief to allow for additional procedural safeguards while he is presumed innocent of the criminal charges. Because Plaintiff financially supports several family members, the Court will not require Plaintiff to post bond.”
Shannon’s attorneys argued the university rushed to judgment and did not follow its protocols. Lawless said the school is prohibited from suspending Shannon before allowing him the protection of policy through the school’s Office of Student Conflict Resolution.
Prosecutors in Douglas County charged Shannon Dec. 5 with rape or an alternative count of sexual battery. The complaint says the accuser was born in 2005. After a warrant was issued for his arrest, Illinois suspended Shannon Dec. 28 from “all team activities, effective immediately.”
The alleged victim told police Shannon pulled her toward him, put his hands under her skirt and touched her sexually. She said the room was so crowded she couldn’t “do anything,” an affidavit said.
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Shannon transferred to Illinois from Texas Tech prior to the start of the 2021-22 season. He played in 11 games this season and was averaging 21.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
The school said it was aware of the allegations since last September but had “yet to receive actionable information” until Dec. 27.
Shannon was an All-Big Ten first-team selection last season.
He last played Dec. 22, when he dropped 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Missouri in their “Braggin’ Rights” rivalry.
Illinois (13-4, 3-2), ranked No. 14 in the country, hosts Rutgers Sunday. Shannon has missed six games.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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