NCAA Suspends Illinois Star for Selling Gear Pre-NIL

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The NCAA has suspended University of Illinois junior center Kofi Cockburn, a returning Consensus All-American and the Big Ten’s preseason Player of the Year, for the first three games of the basketball season after Cockburn sold his Illini team-issue gear on a website.

As reported by Sports Illustrated, Cockburn was expected remain in the NBA draft at the time he sold the gear on The Players Trunk in June, well before the July 1 effective date for new NCAA rules regarding athletes' ability to profit from their name, image and likeness.

The Illini will be heavily favored to knock off Jackson State and Arkansas State at home even without Cockburn, but losing him for the toughest road test of the non-conference schedule at Marquette could have significant ramifications, SI reported. The first game in which he will be eligible to play is Nov. 22 against Cincinnati. 

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