University of Illinois wide receivers coach Mike Bellamy has been suspended for one game next season for providing a recruit with a benefit deemed improper by the NCAA.
The incident happened last January and involved a junior college transfer whose name has not been revealed. The Daily Illini, the University of Illinois’ student newspaper, broke the news yesterday afternoon just one day after Illinois signed the program’s best recruiting class since 2009.
The junior college transfer enrolled at the university in the Spring of 2014 and attended classes for only one day before it was revealed that he had not completed his associate degree at the community college he had previously attended.
After the student withdrew from the university, Bellamy visited the community college to meet with academic officials. At the meeting, the officials agreed to allow the student to complete his associate degree by taking and passing an online placement test. The student took and passed the test in Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois.
The whole incident was self-reported to the NCAA by the University of Illinois. The NCAA ruled that Bellamy’s arrangement to have the student take the placement test was an improperly provided benefit and gave Bellamy a one game suspension for the 2015 season.
A puzzled Tim Beckman accepted the decision: “It was disappointing to learn the NCAA chose to classify this as a violation. We’ll accept the NCAA’s decision…”
Mike Bellamy will serve his one game suspension against Kent State in the team’s opening game of the 2015 season.