Big Ten

In report, ex-Illini Cvijanovic details Beckman accusations

Big Ten

Former Illini offensive lineman Simon Cvijanović made huge waves Sunday night on Twitter, sending out hours' worth of tweets criticizing Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman and everyone else involved with the Illinois football program.

The long stream of tweets included Cvijanović accusing Beckman of attacking a teammate, lying about the extent of Cvijanović's knee injury, banning Cvijanović from attending the Illini's bowl game and postseason banquet, employing an unlicensed athletic trainer, demonizing injured players and threatening the removal of student athletes' scholarships.

As those waves kept rolling in Sunday night, the Tribune's Shannon Ryan reported further on Cvijanović's accusations of Beckman, reporting some information that wasn't included in Cvijanović's tweets.

Ryan's report included Cvijanović accusing Beckman of pushing an injured Cvijanović to play, blaming Cvijanović for an injury to another player due to Cvijanović's poor leadership and mistreating Cvijanović's younger brother, also a member of the team, who has Type 1 diabetes.

[MORE BIG TEN: Ex-Illini OL Simon Cvijanovic blasts Tim Beckman on Twitter]

And then there's this:

Simon Cvijanović said Beckman once kneed a player in the back of the knee at practice to bring him down after a team fight had been defused. He also said Beckman berated him for confronting a teammate who had stolen and pulled a knife on him and once had players wearing shorts and T-shirts practice in minus-12 degree weather.

 

Cvijanović said he was punished for losing weight after consistently throwing up from anxiety.

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Beckman, he said, routinely threatened to disparage Cvijanović's and other players' characters to NFL scouts if they disobeyed him or suffered an injury that Beckman didn't think was serious.

Beckman nor Illinois athletics director Mike Thomas commented in Ryan's report, and obviously this is just one side of the story — though there were responses from teammates, both positive and negative, on social media Sunday night. Certainly complete judgment should be held until after Beckman and the university make their responses. However, these accusations are serious, and any number of them being true, one would have to imagine, would have drastic effects on the Illinois football program, athletics department and university.