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Judge nixes Illini basketball star Terrence Shannon Jr.'s suspension from team for rape charge

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Terrence Shannon Jr.'s suspension from the University of Illinois basketball team after he was charged with rape was overturned by a federal judge on Friday.

Shannon is facing a rape charge stemming from a Sept. 8, 2023, incident that allegedly took place when he was in Lawrence, Kansas, to attend a University of Illinois football game.

Judge Colleen Lawless granted Terrence Shannon Jr.'s request for a temporary restraining order on the suspension. She ruled the suspension instituted by the school violated Shannon's Title IX rights and caused "irreparable harm" to his name, image and likeness, and future career earnings.

Shannon was suspended from all team activities since he was charged with rape last month. But the judge wrote in her ruling, obtained by WCIA in Champaign, that Shannon was protected from being suspended while his criminal case was pending.

Shannon took to X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, to say, "I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin my teammates and get back to work."

WCIA also reported that a university spokesperson said Shannon was reinstated to full status as a student-athlete and was available for basketball practice and competition.

Shannon appeared virtually on Thursday in a Kansas court. He has a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 23. (Update: That hearing was postponed until May.) 

The No. 14 Illini next play on Sunday at home against Rutgers.

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