Former Illini player calls Beckman “worst coach I ever met”

Another former player spoke out against Illinois coach Tim Beckman on Tuesday, one day after ex-Illini offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic said he was forced to play through injuries and alleged that there was abuse and misuse of power in the program.

“When I was being recruited out of high school, I met a bunch of college coaches,” Dennis North, a defensive back from 2011 to 2014, told The Daily Illini. “Tim Beckman, man, he takes the cake as the worst coach I ever met.”

Like Cvijanovic, North felt he was pressured to play while injured, saying the coaching staff “forced him to continue to practice when he should have been doing light work,” the student newspaper reported.

North was recruited to Illinois by former coach Ron Zook and remained when Beckman was hired as his replacement.

“For two weeks I took a drug test every day,” North told The Daily Illini. “He was blatantly trying to find something to kick me off the team.”

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said Monday that an internal investigation would be conducted but that the results would not be made public. Beckman has not publicly commented on the allegations.

Cishek out as Marlins closer

One of the Miami Marlins’ strengths heading into the season was supposed to be the back of the bullpen. Closer Steve Cishek converted 39 of 43 chances last season and he owned a career 2.98 ERA in 269 innings.

But after Cishek blew back-to-back saves on Monday and Tuesday, the Marlins are searching for other alternatives.

“Shrek (Cishek) has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games,” said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. “It’s tough to win in the big leagues, and when you get late leads, you’ve got to be able to lock them down.”

Redmond says he will turn to some combination of A.J. Ramos, Mike Dunn and Bryan Morris to close out games.

Linebacker Watson signs with Patriots

The New England Patriots signed free agent linebacker Dekoda Watson to a contract on Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

The 27-year-old Watson has compiled 120 tackles, three sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries during his five-year NFL career.

Watson spent last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Dallas Cowboys. He had nine tackles in nine games, including one start, for the Jaguars before his release on Nov. 11. He hooked on with the Cowboys three days later and played in one game before the end of the season.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Watson spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft from Florida State.

No tampering by Dolphins in Suh signing

The NFL ruled that the Miami Dolphins did not violate the league’s tampering policy in signing free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

The controversy stemmed from details of Suh’s deal with the Dolphins being revealed before the official start of free agency in March. According to the rules, teams cannot agree to contract terms with a player until the free agency period begins.

Suh signed after free agency began and received $60 million guaranteed, including a $25.5 million signing bonus, as part of a six-year, $114 million package that makes him the league’s highest-paid lineman, passing Houston’s J.J. Watt.

The Detroit Lions, Suh’s former team, never logged an official complaint against the Dolphins.

Suh said he believed all along that he would remain in Detroit.