“We cannot make any student accept our support.”

Somehow, I don’t believe this is a flap that’s arisen over a kid refusing to accept his coaches’ support.

It’s often the case in these kinds of heated situations that the truth lies somewhere between the extremes, so judge Cvijanovic’s allegations accordingly.  But there are two tells that make me think there’s some truth behind his heat.

One, it’s never a sign of confidence in the face of damning stuff like this to issue a one paragraph statement and then clam up.  But that’s what the school has done.

Beckman released a statement through the university and declined interviews.

“Simon Cvijanovic was a valued member of the University of Illinois football team,” he said. “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.”

Beckman and Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas did not return phone calls seeking further comment.

And, second, that bit about making injured players wear Northwestern colors in an attempt to shame them?  It’s not just weird; it’s evidently true.

Will this get any traction?  Who knows.  You’d think the school would have to do more to answer than a one paragraph statement of regret, but maybe not.  Maybe the kid winds up suing and pulling more information out that way.  But the cynic in me feels like Illinois finishing with a losing record last season has a lot more bearing on Beckman’s fate than how he treats his players.


Filed under Look For The Union Label

16 responses to ““We cannot make any student accept our support.”

  1. If you choose to leave; it should be the end of everything except Medical care.


  2. DE 'Dog

    One should be shamed to wear either Illinois or Northwestern colors:

    Illinois 3 – 5 6 – 7
    Northwestern 3 – 5 5 – 7

    Only Purdue sucked worst in the B1G Western Division in 2014.


  3. Despite having two degrees from Georgia, living in Athens for 30 years and being a Dawg to the core, I am still an Illini as well. Beckman has been a disaster for Illinois starting with the tone-deaf trip of assistant coaches to State College when the PSU players were declared eligible for transfer. Many people were hoping we’d lose the last game so he’d be fired, instead we won and went to a bowl where we lost. It’s difficult to come to the realization that the job at Illinois is simply not a very good one and that we have to go to unproven MAC coaches for football and basketball but that is the reality.


  4. From the C-U News Gazette:

    Cvijanovic has a younger brother, Peter, who is on the Illinois football team. The younger Cvijanovic, also an offensive lineman, was part of the Illini’s 2014 recruiting class, but redshirted last season.

    Both current and former Illinois players took to Twitter defending Beckman and the program.

    “Simon quit on his brothers when we needed him most,” wrote Ted Karras, a fifth-year senior for the Illini who sustained a torn ACL and torn MCL last season at Ohio State. “These coaches let him stay on scholarship to finish his degree.”

    Simon Cvijanovic wrote on Twitter he did quit football.

    “I quit football because the pressure to get back on the field was too much from (Beckman) and his staff,” Cvijanovic wrote. “I was too injured to continue.”

    Former wide receiver Miles Osei, who was a teammate with Cvijanovic for four seasons until 2013, also responded on his Twitter account.

    “Everyone has a tough journey/story playing collegiate sports,” Osei wrote. “Stop blaming one person or situation and start taking responsibility.”


    • 69Dawg

      So the kid is suppose to take responsibility for his torn MCl and shoulder. How about him being treated like a piece of meat by a well paid coaching staff. College football is flushing itself down the drain. The coach is apparently not very good and in his zeal to win does the little things that make his kids try harder, like humiliation, always a winning technique.


      • ASEF

        He quit football and they kept him on scholarship. The issue isn’t being “tossed aside.” Its whether his medical care reflected the needs of Simon’s long-term interests or Beckman’s next game plan.


        • I am generally not a union guy, but this sucks. Having had both Knee and Shoulder injuries – playing through pain is on thing – but diminished strength and flexibility from injury, continued participation can lead to a serious lifelong disability.


          • BeaufortBulldawg

            I don’t know about the shoulder injury, but in the case of the meniscus(knee) injury he referred to, there are 2 different procedures that he could have gone through. DRose had his meniscus repaired, basically the cartilage was sewn back into place. That is 6-8 weeks non-weight bearing and a 6 month recovery time. If the meniscus was not repairable, they could have just cut the small piece of cartilage out. In that case, a 2-4 week time frame is normal as there is no ‘healing’ of the tissue needed. You must only need to get rid of the swelling. Usually running 2 weeks post-surgery is fully expected(like Michael Bennett in the middle of the 2013 season). Again, don’t know about the shoulder injury and I’m not taking sides, but with the knee injury, 2 weeks in not out of the norm. Like the Senator said, I’m sure that the truth is somewhere in the middle of both sides.


            • BeaufortBulldawg

              Ok, read a little farther in the original story. I’m an idiot. 2 days post labrum surgery to return to play is ludicrous and taking the boys entire lateral meniscus as a college age kid is just as bad. Kid got screwed. forget my previous comment. Sorry


  5. Cousin Eddie

    the coach needs to learn the difference in playing hurt and not playing injured. A player can play hurt, if he has the guts, a player should not play injured, long term not worth it.
    Bet there WAS a coach in Texas that used the different colored jersey and not the dark closet to get a player wanting to get back on the field.


  6. DawgPhan

    Any way you slice it, it is unfortunate that a student athlete feels like twitter is his only recourse.


  7. Debby Balcer

    Sad story all around.


  8. Dog in Fla

    “We cannot make any student accept our support.”

    But we can lead a student to the Drink of Champions