Illinois Guard Terrence Shannon Jr. Fights Suspension, Files Restraining Order

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Illinois Guard Terrence Shannon Jr. Files Restraining Order to Return from Suspension

Illinois guard Terrence Shannon Jr. has taken legal action against the school’s board of trustees in order to lift his suspension and return to the team.

Shannon was suspended last month after being charged with rape in Kansas.

Challenging the University’s Judgment

Shannon’s attorneys, Mark P. Sutter, Rob Lang, Steve Beckett, and Mark Goldenberg, argue that the university rushed to judgment and failed to follow its protocols in his case.

The lawyers believe that Shannon has not been granted due process rights, presumption of innocence, or a fair opportunity to defend himself against the allegations.

Terrence Shannon

Terrence Shannon Jr. #0 of the Illinois Fighting Illini handles the ball against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center on December 02, 2022 in College Park, Maryland. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

“TJ has constantly maintained his innocence,” said attorney Mark Goldenberg. “All he wants is a fair process, and we don’t think he’s gotten that yet… He’s been granted no due process rights, no presumption of innocence, no fair and complete open opportunity to defend the claim.”

If the restraining order is granted, Shannon could potentially return to the team in time for Thursday’s game. However, the order would only last for 10 days unless both parties agree to an extension.

Goldenberg emphasized that Shannon is determined to have a fair process and firmly believes in his innocence.

University’s Response

University of Illinois associate chancellor Robert Kaler released a statement acknowledging Shannon’s filing for “injunctive relief from his suspension.”

The school plans to review the filing and defend its student-athlete misconduct procedures, ensuring a fair process while awaiting the legal system and university discipline processes to proceed.

Terrence Shannon Jr vs Tennessee

Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) brings the ball up court during the college basketball game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Illinois Fighting Illini on December 9, 2023, at Food City Center in Knoxville, TN. (Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Allegations

The alleged victim reported to the police that she did not interact with Shannon before he began to pull her towards him, placing his hands under her skirt and engaging in sexual touching. She stated that the room was too crowded for her to defend herself.

Prosecutors in Douglas County charged Shannon with rape or an alternative count of sexual battery. The accuser, born in 2005, prompted an arrest warrant for Shannon, leading to his immediate suspension from all team activities.

If convicted of rape, Shannon could face a prison sentence ranging from 12 to 54 years. The battery charge carries a potential fine of up to ,500 and a maximum jail term of one year.

A Standout Player

Shannon joined the Illinois team after transferring from Texas Tech before the 2021-22 season. In this season, he played in 11 games and was averaging 21.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.

The university claims that it was aware of the allegations since September but did not receive substantial information until December 27.

Terrence Shannon gets the pass

Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr. passes during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, in St. Louis.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Shannon’s last game was on December 22, where he scored 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a match against Missouri in the “Braggin’ Rights” rivalry.

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LA News Center’s Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report.