Illinois fires athletic director after athlete allegations

The Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois has fired athletic director Mike Thomas as it prepares to release the final report from its investigation into mistreatment of football and women’s basketball players.

Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said Monday that the report found no wrongdoing by Thomas. But she says “a change in leadership was needed in order to move forward.”

Thomas’ firing follows allegations by former football, women’s basketball and women’s soccer players that they were mistreated by coaches. Football coach Tim Beckman was fired over the allegations and lawsuits filed by players in the other two sports are ongoing.

Thomas came to Illinois from Cincinnati in 2011. He replaced Ron Guenther.

A news conference was scheduled for later Monday.