In case you've been hiding under a rock for the past 24 hours, former Illinois offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic went on an incredibly long (and still ongoing) Twitter rant directed at the Illinois Football program. Cvijanovic has accused the coaching staff of mistreatment, among other things, and the national media has taken attention. The story isn't going away and, if even some of these accusations are proven to be true, this could be one of the biggest collegiate scandals in recent memory.
The athletic department issued a statement last night on behalf of head coach Tim Beckman:
"Simon Cvijanovic was a valued member of the University of Illinois football team. He chose to leave the team during the 2014 regular season and withdrew from the university before the end of the semester. Upon his return for the spring semester, we have continued to support him with medical care an academic scholarship and academic advising. We cannot make any student accept our support. We wish him success in completing his degree, and we wish him the best of success in whatever he pursues after he graduates."
~ Tim Beckman
So what do these accusations mean for Illinois? Right now, nothing. Cvijanovic's claims are startling to say the least, but there's little to no proof of actual occurrence. Here's a brief recap of his three major points:
Unlicensed medical professional
Toby Harkins worked for months as our head trainer and was not a licensed medical professional in the state of Illinois. He was fired.— Simon Cvijanović (@IlliniSi) May 10, 2015
UPDATE: Harkins wasn't on staff during the 2014 season.
Former head football athletic trainer Toby Harkins is a medical professional, but he didn't have a license to practice in the state of Illinois during the 2014 season. It all depends on when he was actually let go by the team.
@MattKitz13 About the trainer's license? He doesn't appear to have been licensed last season. pic.twitter.com/bkjQh8xYcK— Dave Wischnowsky (@wischlist) May 11, 2015
Beckman allegedly abused players
Teammate @KennyKnight was attacked by @coachbeckman in the fall of 2013 at practice and his interview w about it @TaylorRooks was covered— Simon Cvijanović (@IlliniSi) May 10, 2015
This tweet isn't getting nearly enough attention. It's clearly the most egregious alleged offense and, if true, it warrants an immediate dismissal. It's one thing to try and push players through injury (another one of Cvijanovic's complaints), but this is an entirely different matter.
Undisclosed medical information
My knee had a tear in the meniscus. Takes 6 months to heel if repaired. Ask @drose Instead I was told it was no big deal. Back in two weeks— Simon Cvijanović (@IlliniSi) May 10, 2015
8months later I found out my meniscus is almost completely gone. No MRI's no surgery pictures for 8months— Simon Cvijanović (@IlliniSi) May 10, 2015
Cvijanovic is essentially saying that the doctor(s) withheld information of his injury. This goes back to the complaint that the coaching staff was "forcing players to play through injury", but it's admittedly hard to believe that the medical staff was involved in any way.
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