In May 2015 a former Illinois offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic went public with accusations that then head coach Tim Beckman and some members of his staff mistreated & degraded players, forced them to play through injuries & held their scholarships “over their heads” among over things.
Cvijanovic’s claims eventually led to Beckman’s dismissal, wholesale changes within the staff and the athletic department. Specifically, Cvijanovic asserted that Beckman forced him to play through shoulder & knee injuries & “discarded him after Cvijanovic endured psychological problems“.
Yesterday, in what Cvijonavic is calling “the first time in history a college athlete has been rightfully compensated for his sports related injuries”, the University paid him $250,000 “to compensate for injuries and medical expenses he sustained during his time as a football player at Illinois.”
— Simon Cvijanovic (@IlliniSi) May 30, 2017
Upon reading the release Cvijonavic’s attorneys had crafted, which included a statement from Illinois’ Chancellor, I could not help but wonder what impact this settlement will have on other players & universities. Should every former (and future) player be afforded such funding? Where would the funds come from to pay for such potential liabilities (for the record, Illinois paid this settlement out of the University’s self-insurance plan)?
I don’t know if there will be ripple effects across college football in response to this settlement; but if I were an athletic administrator I would certainly have my risk mitigation team thinking through this issue.