Former Illini DB: Tim Beckman was the ‘worst coach I ever met’

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Illinois head coach Tim Beckman calls instructions before an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. | AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Former Illinois defensive back Nick North, who was on the team from 2011-14, offered some harsh words for coach Tim Beckman.

Following former teammate Simon Cvijanovic’s criticism of the Illinois football program and coaching staff, North told the University of Illinois student paper that Beckman was the “worst coach I ever met.”

“When I was being recruited out of high school I met a bunch of college coaches,” North told The Daily Illini. “Tim Beckman, man, he takes the cake as the worst coach I ever met.”

North was recruited by former coach Ron Zook and played for Beckman after Zook’s firing.

Like Cvijanovic, North suffered injuries during his time at Illinois, but the coaching staff “forced him to continue to practice when he should have been doing light work,” according to the Daily Illini’s report.

“For two weeks I took a drug test every day,” North told the paper. “He was blatantly trying to find something to kick me off the team.”

Beckman refused to address Cvijanovic’s allegations except to release the following prepared statement Sunday night:

‘‘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.’’

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said the school would conduct an internal investigation but would not make the findings public.

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