Illinois drops investigation into Terrence Shannon Jr.

The University of Illinois has closed an internal investigation into a sexual assault allegation against basketball player Terrence Shannon Jr.

In a letter to Shannon dated April 5, Robert Wilczynski, the director of the Office for Student Conflict Resolution at Illinois, wrote that the school had insufficient evidence to find Shannon in violation of the student code. Wilczynski wrote that the school's investigator did not have "access to the complainant, the complainant's witness" and that "the complete Lawrence Police Department file was not available to the investigator," according to the letter.

Shannon was arrested Dec. 28 in Lawrence, Kansas, and charged with rape, sexual intercourse without consent and use of force. According to a police affidavit, a woman told police that Shannon digitally penetrated her at a bar in Lawrence without her consent on Sept. 9.

Shannon's attorney, Robert Lang, said Shannon "fully cooperated with the university's investigation, and the university did as thorough of an investigation as possible that spanned several weeks." Lawyers representing Shannon in his criminal case did not respond to messages seeking comment.

A spokeswoman for the university declined to comment, citing federal privacy law that "prevents the University from sharing information about any specific case involving student discipline." The school's letter noted that "the matter may be reopened if new substantial evidence is brought to the attention of [the Office for Student Conflict Resolution] from any source."

Shannon also dropped a lawsuit against Illinois and its president, Timothy Killeen. Shannon had filed for an injunction in January, claiming the school made a "rush to judgment" and used an "unfair" process when it decided to indefinitely suspend him from all team activities after his arrest in December. Shannon ultimately was allowed to rejoin the team when a federal judge granted his request for a temporary restraining order in January.

The university's April 5 letter was filed as an exhibit to Shannon's notice to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit. Shannon dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning he can refile it if necessary, Lang said.

Shannon, a senior guard, averaged 25.4 points in the Illini men's basketball run to the Elite Eight at the NCAA tournament, where they eventually fell to UConn. He is expected to declare for the 2024 NBA draft in June and posted a note to his social media Wednesday thanking the fans and staff at Illinois and Texas Tech, where he previously played.

"I would like to thank Illini nation for their unwavering support throughout my two years here. The staff and the fans have really made this experience memorable!" Shannon wrote.

The criminal case against Shannon in Kansas is ongoing, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 10 at the Douglas County District Court. A spokesperson for the Lawrence police said in an email that "it wouldn't be appropriate for us to speculate or comment on any [University of Illinois] processes" due to the pending criminal case.