Beckman’s penalty draws support from players


Illinois’ head coach Tim Beckman watches the game against Ohio State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. The Illini lost 55-14.

By Sam Sherman

After an emotional Homecoming victory over Minnesota a week ago, Illinois was blown out by Ohio State on Saturday, 55-14. 

Late in the second quarter of Saturday’s game, the Illini were forced to punt by the Buckeyes. After punter Justin DuVernois got the punt off, it looked like he was hit by an Ohio State player, but no flag was thrown for roughing the kicker.  

There was one flag thrown after the play, but a player didn’t commit the penalty. Beckman drew an unsportsmanlike penalty for running on the field to argue with officials on the no-call.  

“Punters don’t usually get hit, so I thought that he could be injured, plus I thought that it was probably a penalty, so that’s why I did it,” Beckman said. 

Beckman brought up family when justifying the unsportsmanlike conduct called against him. 

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    “If one of my sons is going to be injured, and I think it’s a penalty, I’m going to make sure that my voice is heard,” Beckman said. 

    After the game, Beckman’s players seemed to appreciate their coach’s actions, including junior linebacker Mason Monheim. 

    “When you see someone, whether they are a coach or a player, sitting there having your back when they think a play went wrong, it’s a good feeling,” Monheim said. 

    Freshman wide receiver Mike Dudek, who broke the Illinois freshman record for receiving yards in the game, fully supported his coach’s actions.  

    “That just goes to show you guys how much he has our backs. He’s always fighting for us out there, and from my standpoint, that’s what I like to see from a guy who’s coaching me,” Dudek said.  

    Dudek says that drawing penalties shouldn’t be a common occurrence, but that when they happen, it can show how a coach feels about his team. 

    “You don’t want your coach to draw a penalty all the time, but anytime he does, it goes to show the love he has for our team.” 

    This was the second consecutive week that Beckman has had a run-in with officials. Against Minnesota, Beckman argued with officials and threw his headset in the second half of the game — although he did not draw a penalty against the Gophers.

    Beckman was apologetic last week, but didn’t back off of his actions this weekend. 

    Sam is a senior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @Sam_Sherman5.