News Local/State

AP: U Of Illinois Alumni Vent Over Sports Woes

U of I Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson

U of I Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson (U of I News Bureau)

If Barbara Wilson didn't understand the unhappiness of University of Illinois sports fans when she took over as interim chancellor in August, emails that flowed to her over the next three and half months provided an education.

Wilson took over after the abrupt exit of Phyllis Wise just three weeks before football coach Tim Beckman was fired on Aug. 28. On Nov. 9, Wilson fired athletic director Mike Thomas.

Beckman was fired after allegations of interference in player medical decisions. Wilson praised Thomas but said the school needed a new direction.

The hundreds of emails to Wilson obtained by The Associated Press through an open-records request show alumni expressed deep discontent with the situation.

Some were thankful the two were fired but wished they were gone sooner.