Athlete advocates: Fire Illinois athletic director, coaches

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) An advocacy group for college athletes wants the University of Illinois to fire athletic director Mike Thomas, football coach Tim Beckman and others who have been the target of complaints and two lawsuits by former athletes alleging abusive treatment.

The National College Players Association's executive director Ramogi Huma sent a letter Thursday to Chancellor Phyllis Wise, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

In it, Huma called on Wise to fire Thomas, Beckman, women's basketball coach Matt Bollant and others.

Seven former women's basketball players said in a lawsuit that coaches engaged in racist behavior. A former women's soccer player has filed suit over medical treatment. Three former football players have lodged complaints about their treatment, too.

A university spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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