College Football America’s 2015 FBS Coaching Carousel: Illinois Fires Beckman

Memorial Stadium

Memorial Stadium, the home of Illinois Fighting Illini football. (College Football America and RoadTripSports photo by Matthew Postins)

In 2014 it took just a few weeks for the FBS Coaching Carousel to start turning, as June Jones resigned at SMU.

Well, in 2015, we didn’t even get to the season’s opening weekend, as Illinois fired head coach Tim Beckman on Friday.

It might seem bizarre to fire Beckman now, coming off a bowl season in his third year in Champaign. It would seem the team has some momentum. But his firing had nothing to do with onfield play.

Illinois made the decision after preliminary results of an investigation found that the football program “deterred injury reporting and influenced players to avoid or postpone medical treatment & continue playing.”

The University provided a release to the media and held a press conference on Friday afternoon.

“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,” Athletic Director Mike Thomas said in a release. “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.”

The investigation is still continuing, which to date has seen the Franczek Radelet law firm interview 90 individuals, review 200,000 documents and view a wealth of practice and game film for the past three years, according to the University of Illinois.

Illinois commissioned the investigation after allegations raised by former Illini offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic. Thomas called the findings “unsettling.” Thomas admitted the timing wasn’t good, as the season opener is a week away.

“Both of those findings are unsettling violations of University policy and practice and do not reflect the culture that we wish to create in athletic programs for our young people,” Thomas said. “I expect my coaches to protect players and foster their success on and off the field.”

Bill Cubit, the former Western Michigan head coach, will be Illinois’ interim coach for 2015.

As coaching changes happen, RoadTripSports and College Football America will keep you updated.


Illinois Tim Beckman Bill Cubit (interim)

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