UI Hires Chicago Law Firm to Investigate Illinois Football Program

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By Matt Loveless

URBANA -- The University of Illinois is opening an independent investigation of allegations that football coach Tim Beckman pressured an injured player to play and that the player was misled about the extent of his injuries.

After former offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic accused Beckman of mishandling his injuries athletic director Mike Thomas initially said he and the chancellor were talking about reviewing the allegations.

Early Wednesday, spokeswoman Robin Kaler said the chancellor's office decided to seek help from an outside firm. Later in the day, Kaler confirmed the hiring of Chicago firm Fanczek Radelet.

In a statement, Kaler said, "It's premature to establish a timeline for completion, as the inquiry process will likely include a review of documents, interviews, and other fact-gathering efforts."

On Monday, Athletic Director Mike Thomas made clear that he would not make findings of an internal investigation public, however Kaler suggested that would now be based on the content in the investigation.

"When the process concludes, the university will release information in a manner that balances student privacy concerns, legal responsibilities, the need to respect the integrity of the process and an obligation to be transparent," said Kaler.
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