"Winners" of charity event ruffle more than feathers

Published 06/26 2013 05:42PM

Updated 06/26 2013 05:48PM

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- UI football coach Tim Beckman talked to his team Wednesday. Not about the upcoming season, but about some controversial outfits the players wore last week. They had on headdresses; the kind Chief Illiniwek used to wear.

It was for a charity event organized by the players. The money raised would go toward research for a disease called neuroma. The team held a strongman competition. In the end, the winning group put on feathered headdresses and blue and orange body paint. The move caused some controversy.

The Board of Trustees voted a few year back not to use Chief Illiniwek as a symbol. There's been constant debate ever since. The athletics department says Coach Beckman talked to his players about the issue.

Kent Brown, associate athletics director said, "This is an opportunity to educate our student athletes about the role they play in our community and remind them of the sensitivity of all this."

Brown says there were also pictures posted on the team's Facebook page. Those have been taken down as well.

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