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Illini fires athletic director Mike Thomas

After months of speculation, the University of Illinois has fired athletic director Mike Thomas. The decision was announced Monday morning.

Calls for Thomas’ firing had been coming at an increased level as the major programs have continued to fail. The football team has regularly been at the bottom of the Big Ten and started this season with the high-profile firing of Tim Beckman amid rumors of the mistreatment of players.

The basketball team, while competitive, missed the NCAA Tournament last season and has continuously failed to bring in top recruits.

Paul Kowalczyk, the interim athletic director, had been the Senior Associate Director of Athletics. He had been the AD at Colorado State and Southern Illinois. He joined the Illinois staff in 2012.