This summer Illinois’ coach Tim Beckman’s staff was seen on campus at Penn State according to multilpe reports. It was clear during this summer’s Big Ten Media Days that Bill O’Brien had no interest in discussing the issues surrounding this topic. When I asked him if he had a chance to speak with Coach Beckman about the matter his response was quick and stern, “No.”
When O’Brien was asked at the beginning of this week if he thought the actions that took place this summer would affect his teams focus this weekend, he addressed the issue in a bit more detail.
“No, not at all. We started off yesterday and had a really good team meeting reviewing the Temple game, things we did well and things we didn’t do well. I believe as we sit here today we have got their attention on a very good Illinois team and a tough game coming up in Champaign.”
Scott Brown of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asked Beckman if he spoke to O’Brien about the issue and his response did not match that of the Penn Stat coach’s.
“Yeah, in Chicago I talked to him. And we spoke,” Beckman said.
Beckman was then asked if he thought the summer antics would increase the hype of the game or the motivation of the Penn State players.
“Again, this game was developed for opportunity, I believe. When we had that opportunity to go out and ask young men if they were… or they’d come to us and say they’d like an opportunity to speak to us, I mean, I think that’s what college football’s about. And I regret that it ended up being this much and it’s still talked about. But it did give a young man an opportunity to make his decision on what he wanted to do,” Beckman said.
Beckman holds his ground on the fact that he has zero regrets on what he did this summer. Beckman didn’t take this coaching job to be reserved and respectful. He took the job to recruit players, build a program, and win football games.
The rest of the buzz surrounding Coach Beckman’s press conference was his stance on the teams’ quarterback situation. Both Reilly O’Toole and Nathan Scheelhaase saw playing time last week against Louisiana Tech, but neither player could do enough to secure the starting job. Beckman said the job is open and he would put the guy out there who plays best all week.
At this point, Illinois stands 2-2, but many doubt they’ll have a chance to contend for the division title. Non-conference play is over and the B1G show is here. If the Illini can pull a rabbit out of their girdle we might have a chance to see them in Indy. My take: not a chance in football hell.
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