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Illinois fires coach Tim Beckman 1 week before season opener

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Illinois' Memorial Stadium

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. _ Illinois has fired football coach Tim Beckman one week before the start of the season, citing preliminary results of an investigation into allegations of player mistreatment and inappropriate behavior.

Athletic director Mike Thomas said Friday that the timing is unfortunate, but “it was in the best interests of student-athletes to act now rather than when a final report is issued and publicly released.”

He says that would likely happen during the season.

Former starting lineman Simon Cvijanovic complained first on Twitter on May 9 and in numerous interviews that Beckman and his staff had tried to shame him into playing hurt misled him about medical procedures following a knee injury.

Beckman was 12-25 at Illinois, improving the team’s record each season. The Illini went 6-7 last year.

By DAVID MERCER
Associated Press