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Breaking News

Illinois fires football coach week before season

Illinois has fired football coach Tim Beckman amid allegations of influencing medical decisions and pressuring players to play hurt, athletic director Mike Thomas announced Friday

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Ivan Maisel ESPN Senior Writer 

Want to know if rights of football student-athletes are progressing? In last 24 hours, two coaches shouted down for suggestion of withholding cost-of-attendance finds as disciplinary measure. One coach fired for ignoring player safety. The rules have changed.

Illinois fire head coach Tim Beckman

In a release, Illinois AD Mike Thomas said he learned of "efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries," adding, "I expect my coaches to protect players and foster their success on and off the field." Story

AP Images/Nam Y. Huh

VanHaaren: Recruiting battle for Illini

Tim Beckman wasn't long for Illinois, but his firing is likely going to hinder recruiting efforts. Says RB Kentrail Moran: "A lot of players were scared to commit because they were scared this was going to happen. I think this is going to hurt recruiting." Uphill fight (Insider)

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Tom VanHaaren ESPN Staff Writer 

Tim Beckman was only able to land 3 four-star in-state prospects out of a possible 42 since the 2013 class. Biggest task for new coach is keeping them home.

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

How good is Illinois job? Location is a plus near so many major cities. In weaker Big Ten division. Facilities updated recently. Like North Carolina, Illinois always has had potential to be much more than it has been. Right coach could get Illini on track, but history of inconsistency and dysfunction concerning.

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Would be interesting if Illinois went MAC route again. PJ Fleck could be a dynamic hire. Dino Babers also well regarded. But would Illinois get backlash by going again to the MAC?

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

Tim Beckman might not have even gotten a Year 4 if Illini didn't rally to make Heart of Dallas Bowl last year, where it lost to La Tech to finish 6-7. Might end up being one of most costly bowl appearances ever.

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Timing, not firing, a surprise with Beckman

ESPN's Danny Kanell didn't think Tim Beckman would survive as Illinois' coach through this season, but as Ron Gilmore says, "The timing is a big shock."

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Tom VanHaaren ESPN Staff Writer 

Illinois is an interesting position from a recruiting standpoint with Tim Beckman being fired. I spoke to a few recruits who said they thought this might happen, which has already scared off a few recruits. This news only makes it harder for the remaining coaches to hold the class together and add more pieces.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

One could argue that Illinois would have been in better hands with Bill Cubit all along. But this is still stunning news.

Joe Schad @schadjoe

Illinois says Beckman will not receive the $3.1 million remaining on the last two years of his original five-year contract.

Brett McMurphy @McMurphyESPN

Illinois found Tim Beckman deterred injury reporting & influenced players to avoid or postpone medical treatment & continue playing

Danny Kanell @dannykanell

Tim Beckman probably wasn't going to survive anyway but this is very interesting considering all the allegations that have been made.

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Explosion out of Champaign...Tim Beckman fired a week before the season! Bill Cubit interim. Bill's a good fallback option to have.

Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer 

Tim Beckman has been fired at Illinois. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit will serve as interim coach for the 2015 season.