Tribune Report: UI Alumni Critical, Current Players Defend Football Coach
Coaches of three sports at the University of Illinois now face a series of allegations from former athletes about player abuse and the mishandling of injuries. Those involving the university’s football team stem from comments made on social media by former offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic, who contends he was forced to play hurt under Coach Tim Beckman.
The Chicago Tribune reached out to every player - current and former - in the Tim Beckman era.
Many declined comment, but the Tribune did end up conducting 50 interviews.
Reporter Jared Hopkins says many former players, parents and coaches were critical, while those still at the U of I came to Beckman’s defense. He produced the story with Tribune sports reporter Shannon Ryan.
According to the News-Gazette, coach Beckman sidestepped questions about his treatment of players during Big Ten football media day in Chicago Thursday.