Football’s Hugh Thornton arrested after fight at Joe’s Brewery

Illini football player Hugh Thornton was arrested at approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday at Joe’s Brewery in Champaign, according to an e-mail from State’s Attorney Julia Rietz.

Police responded to a call describing a fight in progress, which Thornton was involved in. At the time of the fight, the 19-year-old sophomore from Oberlin, Ohio, was found carrying an ID card belonging to another individual. He admitted using the ID to get into the bar.

Upon his arrest, Thornton had already been sentenced to 12 months of court supervision after an incident on Sept. 20, 2009, in which University police were called by Thornton’s resident adviser due to a confrontation between Thornton, who had been drinking, and the adviser.

After that incident, Thornton was also ordered to perform public service work and obtain a substance abuse evaluation for the offense of Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor.

Since he had not yet obtained the substance abuse evaluation at the time of his arrest Sunday, the State’s Attorney’s Office filed a petition to revoke Thornton’s court supervision, rather than file new charges.

If his court supervision is revoked, Thornton would face resentencing on a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in the Champaign County Correctional Center. He could also be sentenced to probation.

Thornton posted bond and was released. His next court date is Oct. 13.

Illini football head coach Ron Zook has yet to announce Thornton’s status with the team.

“I can’t describe (Thornton’s status) because I don’t know all the details yet,” Zook said. “I’m still collecting information, and when I get all the information, then I’ll have a decision.

“You have to look at everything. The worst thing he did was being in the wrong place at the wrong time — that’s something that we talked about.”

Illini to grind through conference play after bye week

Three games of college football inevitably leave bumps and bruises.

So for Martez Wilson, the fourth week of the season, which was an off-week for the Illini, couldn’t come soon enough.

“The off-week was great,” Wilson said. “We had a little extra time to prepare for Ohio State, had a lot of rest time to just recuperate and everything like that. Little nicks, little bruises, get everything taken care of like that.”

The Illini’s break may have come at the perfect time, as they prepare to host the No. 2 Buckeyes and Heisman candidate Terrelle Pryor on Saturday.

The game against Ohio State kicks off eight straight weeks of Big Ten play for the Illini.

“I think they’re fresh, I think they’re excited for the opportunity,” Zook said. “Not only Ohio State, but these next eight weeks are a grind.”

While Pryor and the Buckeyes were defeating Eastern Michigan, 73-20, Wilson was able to kick back and watch.

“Got a chance to watch some other teams and enjoyed my weekend,” Wilson said.

“Staying off my feet relaxing. Let my body come back. I want to be in the best possible shape ever. Coming to the Big Ten, it’s conference play, it’s time to grind.”

Injury updates

Zook said he expects wide receiver Eddie McGee to be ready to play this weekend after suffering a leg injury against Southern Illinois.

“I was impressed with Eddie running around out there,” Zook said. “I’d list Eddie as probable.”

However, Zook was less optimistic about cornerback Terry Hawthorne’s chances of playing Saturday. The sophomore has yet to see the field this season after suffering a stress fracture in his foot in practice.

“Terry is probably not going to make it,” Zook said. “Although, he was looking pretty good out there (on Monday).”

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