The heat continues to rise for Illinois head coach Tim Beckman. It seems the stories of one former player have gained support from others with similar experiences, and that is not a good look for Beckman or the athletics director defending him.
Former Illinois defensive back Nick North told The Daily Illini said Beckman “takes the cake as the worst coach I ever met.” North tore his PCL and developed a cyst on his knee and claims Beckman and the Illini staff forced him to continue to practice harder than he should have been at the time. His mother also reportedly claimed Illinois refused to pay for a pair of MRI tests. NCAA rules do not require the university to pay for such fees. This has been one of the issues some have attempted to address with autonomy and the shift in power in the sport of college football. But it gets worse for Beckman, as North claims he was asked to sign a document that could release him from his scholarship. North refused to sign the document, and was subsequently suspended.
“He suspended me for a couple of days (in the fall of 2013),” North said to The Daily Illini. “For two weeks I took a drug test every day. He was blatantly trying to find something to kick me off the team.”As if the accusations at Illinois were not damning enough, there is even more from Beckman’s previous program, Toledo.
Per The Daily Illini;
Andrew Weber was a backup walk-on kicker for Toledo from 2008 to 2010 and said if Beckman didn’t like a player he would “find any possible way for you to break a rule,” but that Beckman had never come after him personally because he was a walk-on and didn’t have a scholarship.
“He always threatened people to take their scholarships,” said former Toledo kicker Alex Steigerwald. “I understand it as a motivation tactic, but that doesn’t work for everyone.”
As Beckman and Illinois go into full damage control, another statement was released today from Beckman…
Illinois released this statement from coach Tim Beckman: pic.twitter.com/XhXBO3lEAW
— Shannon Ryan (@sryantribune) May 12, 2015
This offseason it seemed Beckman was changing the way people thought of Illinois. After managing to sneak Illinois into a postseason bowl game last season, it looked as though Beckman may actually be having Illinois turning around in the right direction. But if there is any truth to the stories being shared now about Beckman behind the scenes, this could all blow up rather quickly given the precedent regarding coaches and these coaching habits.