What Does Tim Beckman Need To Do To Survive?

BeckmanFriday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) Eleven months ago, I put the heat on Tim Beckman.

And, in turn, I drew some considerable fire.

On Sept. 25, 2012, three days after Illinois was humiliated 52-24 by Louisiana Tech at Memorial Stadium to fall to 2-2 on the young season, I published a column entitled “The Truth About Illinois Football.”

Among the many thoughts that I expressed in the piece, I wrote the following about the Fighting Illini’s first-year football coach: “While being outscored 97-38 by ASU and Louisiana Tech, Beckman has shown himself to be overmatched, outwitted and unprepared to coach big-time football.

“I wish I felt like I was being too harsh with those statements. And I wish that I felt brighter days were on the horizon for Beckman & Co. Maybe I am and maybe they are, but unfortunately I really just don’t think so.”

Upon reading those words, a sizable number of Illini fans rose up online and shouted that my comments were premature. They argued that it was unfair to criticize a coach so harshly after just four games. And they said I was reading too much into Beckman’s series of off-field missteps, which factored into my opinion nearly as much as the lopsided losses on it.

A funny thing happened after I wrote that column, though – or, rather, not-so-funny.

Illinois didn’t win again.

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