Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas says he backs football coach Tim Beckman following allegations by a former player that his injuries were mishandled.
Thomas says he still plans a full review of the claims made by former offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic. Thomas says he believes Beckman put ”the welfare of this young man above everything else.”
Cvijanovic complained in a series of Twitter messages Sunday that he had been pressured to play when injured last season and that the school hadn’t fully informed him of the extent of an earlier knee surgery.
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He also alleged that Beckman "misused" his power and "attacked" (how was not specified) a former teammate at Illinois.
Cvijanovic said Monday he was considering legal action.
Thomas said the university review will begin soon but isn’t sure how long it will take or who will be interviewed.
On Sunday, the school released this statement in response to Cvijanovic’s Twitter rant: "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."