Bennett Williams began the 2018 season in Lovie Smith‘s doghouse… eventually crawled his way out… and, now, has been given the heave-ho from the premises entirely.
On his personal Twitter account, Williams revealed that he’s “sad to say that I’m no longer a part of the University of Illinois football team.” A university spokesperson subsequently confirmed that the defensive back has been dismissed by Smith.
There was no reason given by either side for the parting of ways.
“I take full responsibility for my actions that contributed to this and I’m sorry we couldn’t make it work,” Bennett wrote. “My biggest regret is letting down people I love the most, and those who have supported me throughout my journey. To them I say that I will strive to make you proud. I look forward to a bright future and finding the best place for me to grow as a player and a person.”
Williams was suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season for violating unspecified team rules. He returned from the suspension for the Week 4 matchup with Penn State, but left that game with a hamstring injury. That was his last action of the year as, coming off the off weekend, he didn’t play in the Week 6 win over Rutgers.
After leading the Fighting Illini in interceptions with three last season, Williams earned Freshman All-American honors. He started seven games at safety in 2017, and was the projected starter heading into summer camp before the unspecified off-field issues cropped up.