Football Coach Tim Beckman Gets Fired From Illinois University, A Week Before The Opening Game

The University of Illinois fired its football coach, Tim Beckman, a mere week from college football season.

Mike Thomas, the University of Illinois’ athletics director, fired Tim Beckman, as revealed in a statement from the institution. Interestingly, his dismissal doesn’t stem from the team’s 12-25 (4-20) record over the past three seasons, or the coach’s routine debacles with the press. Beckman was fired due to the preliminary findings of a third-party investigation into the football program, confirmed Thomas.

“The preliminary information external reviewers shared with me does not reflect our values or our commitment to the welfare of our student-athletes, and I’ve chosen to act accordingly. During the review, we have asked people not to rush to judgment, but I now have enough information to make this decision in assessing the status and direction of the football program.”

Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has been asked to fill Tim Beckman’s shoes and he certainly has his work cut out for him as the college football season opens in less than a week on September 4, when the University of Illinois takes on Kent State University. A few hours after being let go, Beckman launched an offensive, proclaiming his innocence, reported Yahoo!. Tim Beckman released a statement that strongly refuted the accusations leveled against him.

“The University’s actions today are in violation of the procedures mandated under my employment agreement. As such, I will vigorously defend both my reputation and my legal rights.”

At the heart of the dismissal is the allegation that Tim Beckman mentally, physically, and verbally abuses players. As per preliminary reports from the university’s investigations, Beckman attempted to refrain from reporting injuries on the field and even tried to influence medical decisions. Additionally, Beckman may have treated a few student-athletes inappropriately with whether they could remain on scholarship for the spring semester of their senior year if not on the football team, reported MSN.

Many students have complained about Beckman’s behavior and alleged he routinely mistreated them during the off-season. Interestingly, Beckman chose not to address these allegations. But the university has decided to terminate his employment and withhold his remaining remuneration. Beckman stood to earn another $3.1 million on the last two years of his five-year contract or $743,000 as a potential buyout.

With less than a week to go before the football season, interim coach Bill Cubit would have to ensure the University of Illinois team functions well and wins games. Will the sudden dismissal of Tim Beckman affect the team’s performance?

[Image Credit | Joe Robbins / Getty Images]