Illinois has fired coach Tim Beckman following the results from an external investigation into the football program. According to an official release from the school, athletic director Mike Thomas indicated this move “was in the best interests of student-athletes.”
Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit will serve as the interim coach. Cubit was Western Michigan’s head coach from 2005-12 and went 51-47 with the Broncos.
While Beckman’s firing comes as no surprise, the timing - a week before the season starts) – is odd. The fourth-year coach was slated to begin 2015 squarely on the hot seat after a tumultuous offseason. However, the timetable for his firing was expedited after Thomas received the preliminary results into a review of the program.
The release from the school provides insight as to why the program decided to make the switch:
“Thomas learned of efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries. He also said in some instances student-athletes were treated inappropriately with respect to whether they could remain on scholarship during the spring semester of their senior year if they weren't on the team.”
Beckman will not receive the remaining amount left on his contract ($3.1 million) or the buyout ($743,000).