NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Tennessee

A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction clearing the way Friday for suspended Illinois star Terrence Shannon Jr. to return to the team following his suspension after an arrest on a rape charge. The injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless asserted Shannon "will suffer irreparable harm without an injunction."

Illinois signaled its intent to abide by the injunction.

"We have received the Court's Order. Effective immediately, Terrence Shannon Jr. has been reinstated to full status as a University student-athlete and will be available for basketball practice and competition," university spokesperson Robin Kaler said in a statement. "We will continue to review the Court Order and monitor the case."

No. 14 Illinois' next game is Sunday at home vs. Rutgers.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to re-join my teammates and get back to work," Shannon wrote in a message posted to X. 

Shannon had been suspended by Illinois since Dec. 28 after he was charged with rape in connection with a Sept. 8 incident in Kansas. The suit filed by Shannon claims he was not granted due process before being suspended from the team. 

A preliminary hearing date for the rape case against Shannon is set for Feb. 23. From there, the legal process is likely to take several more months. He is also going through the university's student conduct system, referred to as the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

Shannon is leading Illinois in scoring at 21.7 points per game and was playing his way up NBA Draft boards starts amid a strong start to his final college season. But his breakout season was stopped when authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in late December. The alleged incident occurred when Shannon was in Lawrence, Kansas, for the Kansas vs. Illinois football game. 

copy of the sworn affidavit filed by the Lawrence Police Department accuses Shannon of sexually assaulting a woman while at a campus bar on Sept. 8. The woman consented to a sexual assault examination at a local hospital the next day and reported the incident to authorities.