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CNN Report: Former Illini Athletes to Sue the University for Racism, Segregation, and Physical Abuse

A number of former Illinois athletes in the football and women's basketball programs report numerous occassions of bullying, harassment, and racism by the coaches of the university.

Illinois women's basketball coach Matt Bollant
Illinois women's basketball coach Matt Bollant
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A recent ‘investigation' by CNN aired on Tuesday afternoon that provided an overview of the mistreatment allegations by University of Illinois football and women's basketball coaches. This report revealed nothing we didn't already know; it was just a regurgitation of past headlines from the Chicago Tribune, Daily Illini, and News Gazette.


Here's a summary of what was said for those of you that didn't tune it:

The mothers of a number of former basketball players reported to CNN that the players were separated by race during practices, and the predominantly black team was treated worse. Many of the mothers of the players cited specific verbal abuse and harsh stereotyping as the mistreatment that the women received while at the University of Illinois.

Over a month ago, women's basketball assistant coach Mike Divilbiss agreed to part ways with the University over allegations of racism and verbal abuse. The mothers of the former players marked Divilbiss as the predominant bully, but even with his departure, they need to see more done to combat this situation.

After detailing the situation with the women's basketball program, CNN touched on the football team. The network reported that a number of former players had been harassed, bullied, and forced to play under injury. Two reports of physical abuse by head coach Tim Beckman had also been cited by the former players.

Coaches in both programs allegedly threatened to take away scholarships from players as a way to make them work harder and perform better, a coaching method that is strictly against university policy.