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Illinois Fires Thomas

Sports

The cleansing of the Fighting Illini Athletics Department continued Monday with the firing of Mike Thomas.

Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson announced that Thomas is gone. She said a change in leadership is necessary for the school to move forward.

The University’s athletic programs have been under investigation following allegations by former athletes against former coaches, primarily former football coach Tim Beckman.

The investigation turned up information that concluded that Beckman jeopardized players health by pressuring them to play while injured. The report concluded that Beckman ‘berated’ and ‘belittled’ players and that he showed ‘disregard for student-athlete welfare’ and that he ‘violated standards related to sports medicine.’

Similar allegations were brought up by a former soccer player at the university who claims she was sent back out to play by her coach after suffering a concussion.

Thomas was the man who hired Beckman and who was in charge of the athletic department.

Paul Kowalczyk has been named the interim athletic director.

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