What Kind of Chew Does Tim Beckman Use?
The stress of last Saturday’s 31-14 loss at Wisconsin must have been getting to Illinois Fighting Illini head football coach Tim Beckman.
During the insufferable beat down, Beckman tried to settle his nerves by enjoying some smokeless tobacco on the sideline, and as so often happens these days, national TV cameras were right there to catch him in the act.
After the game, all the talk was about how Beckman violated the NCAA’s list of banned substances, which prohibits all players, coaches, and officials from using any kind of tobacco product during practices and games.
Come to think of it, Illinois defenders often pursue ball carriers like they just smoked a pack of KOOL Menthols.
Illinois will actually have to report the incident as a secondary violation. However, no reporters at the postgame press conference asked any real probing questions on the subject, like, what brand of chewing tobacco does a first-year head coach turn to to ease the pain when a 2-4 record is a mere station stop on the bullet train to 2-10?
That’s what we’re here for. The above image – lifted straight from the television broadcast – was from pretty far away, but not too far away for our JSF Forensic Photography Team. So the hard-working guys at the JSF Lab ran it through their patented image enhancement software and, voila:
Red Man. Of course, makes total sense.
This could be taken one of two ways. As a Fighting Illini fan, you might be happy that in some odd, roundabout way, coach Beckman is showing some school spirit. You might also think the guy is badly in need of a manicure, or at least, ought to clip his nails more often.
However, if you’re the NCAA, in addition to violating the tobacco ban, clearly Beckman has also violated the “improper use of Native American imagery” clause enacted a few years back, which forced Illinois to dump the longtime symbol of the university, Chief Illiniwek.
At the time, the school had to choose between being allowed to host NCAA postseason games in any sport or keeping Chief Illiniwek.
Although it’s not clear what penalties might be incurred this time around, the NCAA could decide to similarly punish the Illini football program for Beckman’s actions by making it ineligible for postseason play.
The only problem is, I’m not sure they’d get that message.