CHAMPAIGN - Illinois coach Tim Beckman expressed strong emotion when asked about the recent SI article alleging corruption in Oklahoma State's football program.
The report alleged at least eight and possibly as many as 29 former Cowboys players received payments for play dating back to the Les Miles era in the early 2000s, continuing through at least 2011 under coach Mike Gundy.
Beckman was defensive coordinator under Gundy for two seasons from 2007-08.
"Shocked, really was shocked," Beckman answered when asked for his initial reaction. "I was only there 22 months, for one recruiting class but Mike Gundy gave me an opportunity to be a coordinator and he's a great individual. I was shocked because I had never seen anything that I felt, that I thought was illegal."
Beckman, now in his second season as head coach of the Fighting Illini, said he first heard of the report Saturday following his team's 45-17 win against Cincinnati. Beckman said he hasn't been contacted, by media or Oklahoma State school officials, regarding the matter.
He also hasn't reached out to any of his former players.
"I have not. I'm worried about Washington," Beckman said, pointing ahead to this Saturday's game in Chicago's Soldier Field.
While the news came as a jolt to Beckman, who often has spoke fondly of Gundy and his time spent coaching at Oklahoma State (where his son briefly played and his daughter currently attends), he said he's not using the report as a precautionary tale for his own program.
"No because I know the places that I've been at, you can look at my background, we have rules and regulations and that's what we abide by," he said. "The places that I've been at and the people I've been able to work for, they've done great jobs of leading programs."