Brace yourselves — Tim Beckman might be returning to Champaign this Fall for a football game. The News-Gazette reported on Tuesday night that the former Illinois head coach has landed a new gig as a volunteer assistant at North Carolina.
The Fighting Illini are scheduled to host the Tar Heels on September 10 in a highly-anticipated and rare night game at Memorial Stadium. Although, as Bob Asmussen reported, it’s unclear if Beckman will actually make the trip or not.
Beckman was fired one week prior to Illinois’ 2015 opener after multiple former players accused him of abuse and improper treatment.
Beckman reached a $250,000 settlement with the university in April following a legal dispute in regards to the termination of his contract. Still, Illinois stood by their decision to fire Beckman with cause.
At the same time, Coach Beckman can resume his career without protracted litigation. The resolution involves a one-time payment of $250,000 to Beckman, who will release all claims he may have had against the university.
The university stands by its decision to terminate Coach Beckman for cause, but recognizes that terminating him without cause was another possible alternative.
Paid position or not, this is a rather surprising development. Beckman was bound to return to the Division-I coaching ranks at some point or another, but to land at another Power 5 program a year removed from player-related scandals? I didn’t envision anyone taking a flyer so soon. But, hey, hopefully Beckman can somehow instruct the North Carolina defensive backs to do exactly what Illinois’ old units did — the Illini could score 100 points if that happens.
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The St. Louis native is rated as the No. 75 overall player and No. 12 point guard in 247Sports’ composite rankings. He has other scholarships from Arkansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Texas, and UNLV.
The penultimate stop on our annual football tour brings us to Champaign, Illinois, to watch former NFL and Super Bowl coach Lovie Smith and Illinois practice. Before we check out Illinois’ latest team Wednesday, here are five nuggets to know about the Fighting Illini.
When Illinois signed [Nick] Allegretti expectations were automatically very high for the in state lineman. After redshirting in 2014 he finally saw the field in 2015 rotating in on the offensive line and on special teams. Allegretti comes into the season healthy and full ready to protect Wes Lunt this.
On film, I think [Frazier] is much more of a scorer than a point guard. He’s a lefty who seems to really favor his left hand, so before I go suggesting he could be in the starting lineup as a freshman, I should probably verify that he can dribble with his right hand. So while I think Te’Jon Lucas will be the better ball-handler and passer, Frazier certainly projects at the better lead-guard scorer.