Boycott! Illini Assistants Threaten To Sit Out Bowl Game

December 30, 2011

Illinois Football

The quiet dignity that has been the Illinois football coaching transition continues:

SAN FRANCISCO — While Illinois players were busy fitting in sightseeing of Alcatraz and piers along with game planning for Saturday’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, some of their assistant coaches were busy planning another strategy.

Four assistant coaches threatened not to participate in the bowl against UCLA because of a contract dispute with the school over their termination. As of Friday afternoon at the team’s festive pep rally at Union Square, interim coach Vic Koenning was unsure if assistants Jeff Brohm, Joe Gilbert, DeAndre Smith and Chip Long would be present at AT&T Park.

“I’m trying to stay out of it,” Koenning said. “That’s their deal. Some things happened in the middle there and we didn’t realize we didn’t have two-year contracts until we were released (a few weeks ago).”


This comes after Koenning originally said he did not know if he or his assistants would bother to stick around for the bowl because they had to put themselves first. Then Koenning publicly dithered about whether to stick around in Champaign as defensive coordinator (he ultimately decided not to).

So what is going on here?

Some of the coaches said in a Sports Illustrated article they were told they were being offered a deal for two years but the reworked contract they signed was only for one year.

Seems this would be a pretty clear answer if they signed the contract, no?


About Tony

Founder of Ball Eight.

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