Millines, Caldwell gone

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."

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freestephn@gmail.com wrote on May 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm

"He was the guy anyway".....Wow, what a bone head statement. As a coach you keep that in the office with your peers: not in the public square even if it's true..your players will slowly lose trust in you.

blmillini wrote on May 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Not sure why that is an issue when referring to the guy that is gone.  In fact, it just reinforces things with the guys that follow the rules and remain on the team.

Illini1973 wrote on May 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Well, this is not good.  Not that we have any real 'impact' players (OK, maybe LB Brown..but who knows if he'll be healthy) but these were two of our starters.  I just can't even at the least bit get excited about FB.  And I don't see that changing in the next 5 years at a minimum with what we have coming in.  I believe we are now at the bottom of the pile.  There is no one lower, not IN, MN, PU or anyone else.  I can't see 30K butts on the planks, unless the visitors travel well (which may be the case occasionally).

IMAN wrote on May 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm

It doesn't really matter as we are going to be awful this year anyway.  Hopefully this will just end up guaranteeing that  Beckman is gone by end of the season. Thomas really screwed up the football hire and Beckman didn't deserve to come back this year.  

honesty wrote on May 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm

IMAN I think MT was going to fire zook no matter what.  What he didn't realize was how difficult it would be to get a top coach to come to the coaches graveyard. RG ran the program into the ground with hanging on to coaches too long and steeing up schedules way too difficult for a team with Illinois talent level.

JimOATSfan wrote on May 17, 2013 at 7:05 am

That means two scholarships are open. Does Wes Lunt take one?