The college athletes advocacy group that helped spearhead the Northwestern unionization attempt has called for firings in the Illinois athletics department.
Ramogi Huma, the president of the National College Players Association, wrote a letter to University of Illinois chancellor Phyllis Wise demanding that seven athletics department employees — including athletics director Mike Thomas, head football coach Tim Beckman and head women's basketball coach Matt Bollant — be fired in the wake of controversies involving the alleged mistreatment of student-athletes across various programs.
As detailed by the Chicago Tribune, Huma demanded the firings of Thomas, Beckman, Bollant, head women's soccer coach Janet Rayfield and a pair of athletic trainers, Sam Laingen and Brittany Scott.
Huma's letter comes in the wake of serious allegations directed at the football and women's basketball programs, as well as a lawsuit filed by a former soccer player. It comes a day after CNN gave the firestorm national attention with a story Wednesday.
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Seven former women's basketball players filed a lawsuit against the university, Thomas, Bollant and former women's basketball assistant coach Matt Divilbiss last week, alleging that the program was an environment of racial hostility featuring segregated practices and different treatment of black and white players. The players filed the lawsuit before the completion of an external review of the university's internal investigation into the allegations which turned up no violations of laws, rules or policies.
Meanwhile, there is still an ongoing investigation into the football program, an investigation spurred by tweets from former offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic, who alleged that Beckman is an abusive bully who forces players to play injured, demonizes injured players, lies about injuries and threatens to take away scholarships.
Additionally, former soccer player Casey Conine filed a lawsuit alleging mishandling of treatment for a concussion by medical staff.
Action from the university would seem unlikely to come until the ongoing investigation and review are completed. Wise released a statement when the former women's basketball players filed their lawsuit last week expressing her disappointment in the players taking legal action prior to the completion of the external review. Thomas has asked people to reserve judgment until the investigation and review are complete.