Tim Beckman's brief stint as a volunteer assistant at North Carolina has come to an end. After two days of headlines regarding his role on Larry Fedora's staff, Beckman is stepping away to avoid being "further distraction."
"I appreciate the opportunity Coach Fedora gave me to stay connected to the sport and be around one of the best staffs in the country. His willingness to help a friend was a benefit both personally and professionally," Beckman said a statement released by the school. "I do not wish to be a further distraction to the team or University and I will no longer serve as a volunteer at UNC. I wish Larry and the program nothing but success going forward."
Beckman, who was initially labeled a volunteer coach but was actually a volunteer assistant at UNC, was said to have his role limited to watching film and scouting and not interacting with players. However, as one reporter noticed Thursday, that did not appear to be the case in reality.
And remember, Beckman's not working with players. pic.twitter.com/AD5kctEjXC— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) August 25, 2016
Beckman was fired in August 2015 after an external investigation found the coach mistreated players by allegedly discouraging them from receiving medical treatment if they were hurt, among many other things. In a statement, Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said the decision to fire Beckman was "based on the health and well-being of our student-athletes" and that "the findings don't reflect the culture we are building with Illinois athletics."
"I know Tim. I know his side of the story, also. So I was comfortable with it,"Fedora said, via Andrew Carter of the Raleigh News & Observer. "If I wouldn't have been, obviously I wouldn't have brought him. I wouldn't have allowed him to be in our program. But I was very comfortable with it. I don't have any issues with it at all."
Beckman, who went 12-25 overall with the Illini and 4-20 in Big Ten play, denied the allegations. Thomas was later fired last November.
"And I know (criticism is) going to happen, and then a couple of days from now it won't be news," Fedora added. "I mean, I promise you, I didn't see anywhere where the NCAA said that he should be banished from the game of football. You know?
"I mean, the guy didn't win enough games. That's all it was."
Beckman was looking to get back in the mix and on the scene at North Carolina, and his presence wasn't a big deal until a paper in Illinois first reported the news. North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham had approved Fedora's decision to bring him on as a volunteer assistant and his arrival, and Beckman's presence almost went unnoticed.