Aug 30, 2015 09:36 AM EDT
Tim Beckman Fired Over Abuse of Power Allegations, Considering Lawsuit Over Termination
After being fired over allegations he endangered his football players at the University of Illinois (UI), Tim Beckman spoke publicly about the conditions of his termination.
Beckman was fired Friday when UI athletic director Mike Thomas announced an external review turned up evidence that Beckman influenced players to play with injuries. Speaking out shortly after his termination, Beckman said he may consider taking legal action, ESPN reported.
"I firmly deny the implications in Mike's statements that I took any action that was not in the best interests of the health, safety and well-being of my players," Beckman said in a statement.
Thomas, on the other hand, emphasized that the investigators did not rush, but conducted a thorough review.
"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," he said in his statement. "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."
Thomas said the investigators learned of allegations that Beckman discouraged players from reporting injuries and treated players with hostility, sometimes threatening to pull individuals' scholarships.
Such allegations against Beckman arose in May when Simon Cvijanovic, a former Illini offensive lineman, filled his Twitter account with anecdotes and instances detailing how the coach abused his power.
"All I can say right now is I think it's a step in the right direction," he told The Associated Press following Beckman's firing. "It seems like there's more than just Beckman that needs to be held accountable."
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