Illinois first-year coach Lovie Smith isn’t happy with his team’s 1-4 start. And on Monday, he clearly wasn’t happy with one reporter, either.
A little background: Illinois has committed 46 penalties for 375 yards through five games. Opponents, on the other hand, have been flagged just 23 times for 191 yards.
So, naturally, this was asked of the coach during his news Monday conference: “Given the penalties and what you’ve talked about with lack of discipline, do you have any sense that maybe you’ve taken it too easy or have been too relaxed with your team to this point?”
Smith didn’t mince words:
“Ask me that question again. Are you freaking kidding me? Ask it one more time. Have I been too laxed with my football team? I’m freaking going out there every day, just letting them do what they want to do? Absolutely not. I’m not going to give that question an answer. Laxed with a football team? Are you freaking laxed with your job? I’m not either. Thank you.”
Here’s a video, courtesy of IllinoisLoyalty.com.
Lovie: "Lax with the football team??" ? pic.twitter.com/a2qJPbOOnr
— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) October 10, 2016
Illinois dropped to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten with Saturday’s 34-31 overtime loss to Purdue. The Illini had 12 penalties for 125 yards in the loss.