Mike Thomas

U Of I AD Fired, Will Get $2.5M Buyout

Nov 9, 2015
illinois Public Media

University of Illinois Interim Urbana Chancellor Barbara Wilson says the decision to fire athletic director Mike Thomas came after a law firm’s release of a final report into abuse allegations within the football and women’s basketball programs.

University of Illinois

Illinois has fired football coach Tim Beckman one week before the start of the season, citing preliminary results of an investigation into allegations of player mistreatment and inappropriate behavior.  

Athletic director Mike Thomas said Friday that the timing is unfortunate, but ``it was in the best interests of student-athletes to act now rather than when a final report is issued and publicly released.'' He says that could happen during the season.  

The University of Illinois’ Urbana campus chancellor and athletic director don’t expect any personnel changes in the women’s basketball program – after a law firm hired by the university found no evidence of racial discrimination or player abuse.

A Chicago firm said the claims of a racially hostile environment… in a lawsuit filed by seven former players… are unsupported.

University of Illinois

University of Illinois trustees are considering giving Athletic Director Mike Thomas a raise and a contract extension.  
Trustee James Montgomery said Thursday that under the proposal Thomas' base pay would be increased to $554,000 and extended by two years. Thomas was hired in 2011 on a five-year contract with a base salary of $475,000.  

A trustees' committee will consider the proposal Thursday in Chicago. Any changes would eventually have to be approved by the full board of trustees that governs the university.  

Illinois has confirmed that football coach Tim Beckman will be back for a third season in 2014.
Athletic Director Mike Thomas said Monday through a spokesman that Beckman will return. Thomas and Beckman plan to talk later this week about the football staff and other aspects of the program.
Speculation about Beckman's job security followed him through much of the 4-8 season that ended with Saturday's 37-34 loss to Northwestern.
Some fans called for Beckman's ouster after his first season at Illinois. The Illini went 2-10.