Illinois lineman says Beckman mishandled knee injury

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Former University of Illinois offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic used a long series of Twitter messages Sunday to accuse coach Tim Beckman and some staff members of mishandling an injury.

Over the course of dozens of messages Sunday afternoon and evening, the senior said Beckman had tried to convince him the injury wasn't a big deal. Cvijanovic had both knee and shoulder injuries at Illinois but in his messages Sunday talked about the knee.

''We don't talk about how we're mistreated because we're then `not a team player or `soft but no one pays the bill when we're gone,'' Cvijanovic wrote.

He later said ''I wasn't given an option to have my knee repaired'' before adding'' I'm taken care of medically speaking for the time being. But who else is in my shoes next??''

Cvijanovic didn't play after he was injured in the Nov. 1 game against Ohio State.

He didn't respond to a Twitter message from The Associated Press.

University spokesman Kent Brown said Beckman would not be made available for comment, but in an emailed statement the coach said Cvijanovic left the team before the 2014 season ended and withdrew from the university before later re-enrolling.

''Upon his return for the spring semester, we have continued to support him with medical care, an academic scholarship and academic advising. We cannot make any student accept our support,'' Beckman continued. ''We wish him success in completing his degree, and we wish him the best of success in whatever he pursues after he graduates.''

Brown added that Cvijanovic is expected to graduate this semester.

Cvijanovic started 29 games over three seasons for Illinois after he came to the school from Cleveland. His younger brother, Peter, is a redshirt freshman lineman for the team.

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