North Carolina Tar Heels: Change brewing in Illinois


The North Carolina Tar Heels football schedule just got more interesting. Their nonconference schedule this year features Illinois, a team that was trying to find itself like the Heels are. That process will be doubly interesting now that the Illini have fired football coach Tim Beckman just a week before the college season starts.

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Beckman was released after a preliminary investigation into Beckman’s treatment of student athletes. These allegations arose after former players complained about how coach treated them. One the former players, Kenny Knight, described an incident where he was thrown to the ground by his coach. Other players described being forced to play through injuries.

Beckman was fired with cause and so he will not collect the outstanding value of his contract. His athletic director, Mike Thomas, pulled the trigger here but Thomas too might not survive for too long either. For now, former Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit takes the reigns of the team.
Beckman then released a statement that denied wrongdoing in the report. Beckman’s statement also indicated that he would sue the university over his termination.

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All of this means that the Illinois football program will be in turmoil for the next couple weeks as everyone tries to sort out the truth. That means that the Illinois season could start off in a couple of different ways. A distracted Illinois team could stumble out of the gate. A couple of disappointing losses might not knock out their confidence by the time they roll into Chapel Hill.

On the other hand, the team could rally behind Cubit and try to make the best of things. It is hard to know how these things will go because the people and circumstances are different every time. The one thing that will not change will be the scheme. Tape of the Illinois offense should be just as relevant now as it was before.

The Tar Heels will find out September 19.

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