Illini finalize settlement with former football coach Tim Beckman

Former Illinois football coach Tim Beckman settled his wrongful termination lawsuit against the university for $250,000, the athletics department announced Tuesday.

Beckman was fired last August amid allegations that he influenced medical decisions and pressured players to compete while injured. Beckman has denied the claims.

He was set to receive $3.1 million over the last two years of his contract.

"The university stands by its decision to terminate Coach Beckman for cause, but recognizes that terminating him without cause was another possible alternative," the university said in a written statement.

In a separate settlement, the University of Illinois on Tuesday said seven former women's basketball players claiming that Illini coaches created a racially hostile environment will receive a one-time payment of $375,000 to split among them to wrap up a suit filed in 2015. The University of Illinois Board of Trustees must approve the settlement.

Former athletic director Mike Thomas -- who was fired in November without cause -- fired Beckman in August after receiving the preliminary findings of an investigation by an independent firm, which reportedly interviewed more than 90 people. Former Illinois offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic was among those who accused Beckman of "misuse and abuse of power," saying he was forced to play through shoulder and knee injuries in 2013 and 2014.

Following Beckman's termination, offensive coordinator Bill Cubit took over coaching duties in 2015. He was fired in March and replaced by former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.

Beckman, who went 12-25 (4-20 in the Big Ten) in three years with the Illini, is not currently employed as a coach.

"This resolution allows the university to avoid the distraction of pending litigation and to focus instead on the well-being of student-athletes in the program," the university wrote. "At the same time, Coach Beckman can resume his career without protracted litigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.