CHAMPAIGN — Darius Millines and Darrius Caldwell are no longer members of the Illinois football team.
Illinois coach Tim Beckman confirmed the move Wednesday morning, saying both will not play again at Illinois after a violation of team policies. He declined comment on the specific reasons for why Millines and Caldwell — who both missed spring practices — won't suit up for the Illini during the 2013 season. He did not indicate where Millines, a wide receiver, and Caldwell, a defensive end might end up transferring to either.
"We gave them both opportunities," Beckman said.
Millines would have been a senior for the 2013 season and the Boynton Beach, Fla., native had 32 receptions for 319 yards last season. He finishes his Illinois career with 579 receiving yards on 53 catches and two touchdowns. Beckman suspended him in early March and Millines did not participate in spring practices with the Illini. Wide receivers Ryan Lankford, Spencer Harris, Martize Barr and Miles Osei worked with the first-team offense for much of the spring with Millines out.
Caldwell, a sophomore from Atlanta, missed spring practices because of grade issues. He played in all 12 games last season, recording 17 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. Caldwell was projected as a possible starter at the Leo position, which is a hybrid linebacker and defensive end. Houston Bates will now likely get the chance to start at that position.
"Houston was really the guy anyway," Beckman said. "If you graded out spring football, Houston would be tops as what we had on the defensive side of the football."
Beckman said he kept the team informed about the situations regarding Millines and Caldwell.
"I'm disappointed when anybody leaves the program because you've got a great opportunity with education and you've got a great opportunity to play Big Ten football," Beckman said. "The players were involved in all this. Our players have known. We have what we call the honor council, and the honor council meets with any issues we're having with the football team. The honor council is selected on by the football team. There's 12 individuals on that honor council and I want them involved in decisions."