Illinois fired head football coach Bill Cubit over the weekend despite his just signing a two-year contract extension and speaking to Bob Asmussen of The News-Gazette, Cubit was not shy about how he felt.
“I’m in shock,” Cubit said. “Total shock.”
Cubit then went on to say that new Illinois AD Josh Whitman arrived in his office Saturday morning and, in five minutes, said that he and son Ryan were being let go. Moreover, this was only the second in-person interaction between the two.
Illinois has since hired former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith on a six-year contract but if the reports of how Cubit was fired are true, hopefully that is not a sign of what to expect under Whitman. Whitman said that Cubit was fired just because he personally felt that a two-year contract, signed by his predecessor, was not the right deal for a long-term coach.
But the fact remains that though Illinois finished 5-7 (2-6 Big Ten) last season and didn’t make a bowl game, they still got off to a 4-1 start after coach Tim Beckman was fired a week before the season after allegations of player mistreatment. Thus, as good a hire as Smith is, Cubit at least deserved a chance for another season without circumstances attached.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports