The University of Illinois is paying out $250,000 in a settlement with former football player Simon Cvijanovic, whose claims about being forced to play while injured led to the eventual ouster of football coach Tim Beckman and athletic director Mike Thomas.
Beckman allegedly forced Cvijanovic to play through injuries to his shoulder and knee in 2013 and 2014. After coming forward with his allegations, other players also alleged mistreatment under Beckman. In response, the university launched an investigation that found extensive evidence of player mistreatment. Beckman was dismissed prior to the 2015 football season. Thomas was dismissed in November 2015.
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ESPN.com reports that by agreeing to the one-time settlement payment, Cvijanovic’s claims against Illinois will be resolved. The payment will come from the university’s self-insurance plan.
Cvijanovic tweeted an image of a prepared release on Monday night.
“The health and welfare of our student-athletes is a priority for us — both while they are on campus and in the years after they graduate,” Illinois chancellor Robert Jones said in the statement. “We want to ensure that they have outstanding educational experiences at Illinois and that they leave here prepared to lead lives and careers of impact. We sincerely hope this agreement helps Mr. Cvijanovic resolve any continuing health concerns and lets him focus on his future goals and aspirations.”
“As a proud alumnus of the University of Illinois, I am pleased to see necessary administrative changes have been made in efforts of prioritizing player safety,” Cvijanovic said.
In a follow-up tweet, Cvijanovic wrote, “This agreement marks the first time in history a college athlete has been rightfully compensated for his sports-related injuries.”