Illinois fires head coach Beckman
Illinois announced that it fired coach Tim Beckman just eight days before the start of the 2015 season.
Chicago Tribune Illini beat writer Shannon Ryan was among several to report the news on Friday afternoon.
Illinois has released coach Tim Beckman. Cubit named interim coach. '#Illini
— Shannon Ryan (@sryantribune) August 28, 2015
Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit will take over as the interim coach, according to Ryan.
Beckman had been accused of abuse by former players, a case in which he had consistently denied any association with. The university released a statement that said Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas made the decision “citing preliminary results of an external review into allegations involving the program.”
The release went on to say:
“Thomas said the timing is unfortunate with the season one week away. But based on preliminary findings, he said, it was in the best interests of student-athletes to act now rather than when a final report is issued and publicly released, which likely will occur during the season.”
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported that the mistreatment of players involved lying about injuries to medical professionals.
Illinois found Tim Beckman deterred injury reporting & influenced players to avoid or postpone medical treatment & continue playing
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 28, 2015
Beckman originally signed a five-year contract and had just over $3 million remaining on the deal, but he won’t receive a buyout. According to the release, 90 individuals were interviewed and over 200,000 documents were reviewed by the Franczek Radelet law firm.
Beckman was entering his fourth year with the Illini after leading the team to the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2014. he was 4-20 in the Big Ten and 12-25 overall in his three seasons.
Cubit will be the interim coach after serving as the Illini offensive coordinator for the last two seasons. Before he came to Illinois, Cubit was the head coach at Western Michigan for eight years.
Illinois will kick off 2015 in Champaign on Sept. 5 when it hosts Kent State.