Illinois guard Terrence Shannon Jr. has filed a temporary restraining school against the school’s board of trustees so he can return from suspension.
Shannon was suspended from the team last month after he was charged with rape in Kansas.
However, Shannon’s attorneys, Mark P. Sutter, Rob Lang, Steve Beckett and Mark Goldenberg say the university rushed to judgment and did not follow its protocols.
“TJ has constantly maintained his innocence,” Goldenberg said, via 247 Sports. “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.”
Goldenberg says that Shannon could return to the team as early as Thursday’s game if the restraining order is granted, but it would only last 10 days, unless both parties agree to an extension.
“All he wants is a fair process, and he doesn’t feel like he’s gotten it yet. He’s pretty firm on his innocence,” Goldenberg says.
University of Illinois associate chancellor Robert Kaler said in a statement that the school is aware Shannon has filed for “injunctive relief from his suspension.”
“We will review the filing and defend our student-athlete misconduct procedures, which allow us to respond swiftly to allegations of misconduct and serious crimes while affording our student-athletes a fair process and waiting for the legal system and university discipline processes to proceed.”
The alleged victim told police said she didn’t say anything to the man before he started pulling her toward him, putting his hands under her skirt and touching her sexually. She said the room was so crowded she couldn’t “do anything,” the affidavit said.
Prosecutors in Douglas County charged Shannon on 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 on Dec. 28 from “all team activities, effective immediately.”
The rape charge carries a sentence of 12 to 54 years in prison, while the battery charge carries a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.
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 this season.
The school said it was aware of the allegations since last September but had “yet to receive actional information” until Dec. 27.
Shannon was an All-Big Ten First-Team selection last season.
He last played on Dec. 22 when he dropped 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Missouri in their “Braggin’ Rights” rivalry.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report.