Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE
Tim Beckman sounded like a cross between Urban Meyer (good!) and Tim Brewster (horrible!) in his appearance at media days—and that's probably the least objectionable aspect of his day.
Illinois was hounded by assertions from Penn State coaches and players on Wednesday that several coaches had been on campus, seeking out players and trying to recruit them. It was a serious enough situation that getting a coach not named Urban Meyer to condemn the move on moral grounds was essentially a layup (sports reference!), and Delany's only real comment about it was that Illinois had made the decision before Delany had a chance to meet with the coaches and athletic directors.
Not hard to read between the lines there.
But what really sent Beckman's appearance over the edge into "slimy" territory was this initial assertion, helpfully compiled by the Big Ten:
We did not go onto their campus. We only talked to individuals that would be willing to meet with us. We did not go after them. They had the opportunity to come to us if they would like to come to us and speak to us. And that's how we handled the situation.
Sounds like an equivocal denial of the reports—well! That's all settled. Hey, wait a second; we're going to need a follow-up on that one, Tim:
We were in State College, but we did not go on campus. We went to two establishments outside campus and called some individuals and if they wanted to come by, it was their opportunity to come by.
Sliiiiiiightly different story with those details.
The deep irony here is that Illinois' aggression in pursuing Penn State's players is probably not only going to net the Illini zero players, but it's only going to result in Penn State banding together even more firmly. Every "us" needs a "them," and for Penn State, the "them" is visibly stalking them in State College, waiting to tear the team apart, fecklessly and futilely so.
So great job on that one, Illinois!