>>Beckman Denies Illinois Probe Findings, Hints At Lawsuit
Fired Illinois football coach Tim Beckman says the findings of an investigation indicating he interfered with medical procedures and pressured players to play hurt are "utterly false" and suggested he might take legal action.
In a statement released to The Associated Press after he was fired on Friday, Beckman also said the decision to fire him violated his contract. He said he will "vigorously defend both my reputation and my legal rights."
Athletic Ddirector Mike Thomas fired Beckman a week before the start of the football season. Thomas said the preliminary results of an investigation into alleged mistreatment of athletes found enough reason to fire Beckman.
Former starting lineman Simon Cvijanovic sparked the investigation when he complained that Beckman and his staff had tried to shame him into playing hurt.
>>Interim Coach Cubit Hoping To Keep Focus on Football
Bill Cubit insists he is focused on Illinois' opening game against Kent State, and that's it.
That could be one tough task amid the turmoil at the school.
Cubit takes over after Tim Beckman was fired Friday. An investigation found Beckman meddled in athletes' medical issues; He denies any wrongdoing.
The two top administrators at the campus abruptly resigned this month. And athletes in two other sports have sued the school and athletic director Mike Thomas over their allegations of mistreatment.
Cubit says he is just worried about today.
Linebacker Mason Monheim says he is stunned by what has happened. But he says he is looking forward to playing for Cubit.