Mike Thomas was fired by Illinois in 2015 after a damaging report about the school’s football program was released. Thomas is now set to take a new job.
The former Illinois athletic director is taking the same position at Cleveland State, according to Mark Tupper of the Herald & Review. An official announcement is expected Wednesday.
— Mark Tupper (@MarkTupper) February 8, 2017
Thomas took over at Illinois in 2011 after spending five years as the athletic director at Akron and another six in charge of Cincinnati’s athletic program.
In Champaign, Thomas oversaw the hiring of multiple coaches, including football coach Tim Beckman and men’s basketball coach John Groce. Thomas also helped to start the State Farm Center renovation project, a $170 million makeover for the Illini’s basketball arena.
However, Thomas’ time at Illinois was also wrapped up in scandals involving three teams.
Several football players alleged Beckman mistreated them and “berated” them for seeking medical treatment after suffering injuries. Members of the women’s basketball team and women’s soccer team also alleged mistreatment in their respective programs.
From a November 2015 Chicago Tribune story:
In addition to the allegations by several football players of mistreatment by Beckman — who was fired in August — seven former women’s basketball players filed a $10 million racial discrimination lawsuit, and a women’s soccer player sued the school alleging medical mistreatment of concussions.
Thomas has not held a job in college athletics since leaving Illinois.