Dienhart: Odd protest for Illini assistant coaches

News that three Illinois assistant coaches may boycott Saturday’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is disappointing, as reported late Friday by the Chicago Tribune. Joe Gilbert, Chip Long and Jeff Brohm may not coach in the bowl against UCLA on Saturday because they claim they were unaware that they had signed one-year deals. Instead, the trio says it had been told it had inked two-year contracts.

At this point, it’s a he-said-he-said argument with seemingly little chance to be resolved with kickoff coming on Saturday afternoon. If the assistant coaches have come this far, why not just finish the job by coaching in the final game? In the long run, the coaches will look much better by finishing their jobs—even if they have a valid point. And having a reputation like that only will serve those coaches better in the future as they look for jobs.

Tom Dienhart is a senior writer for BTN.com. Find all of his work at www.btn.com/tomdienhart, follow Dienhart on Twitter at @BTNTomDienhart, send a question to his weekly mailbag here, and click here to subscribe to his RSS feed.

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bob jones on 12/30/2011 @ 11:12pm EST Said:

They would look better by finishing the year, but if they really were led to believe that they were signing 2 year contracts and now that their coach is fired they are being told that they only signed 1 year deals and are probably out of jobs, it would be very hard to remain loyal if they really were intentionally misled. Something just doesn’t sound right about this whole deal, wonder how they could not be aware of the length of the contract they were signing. Have never heard of a similar situaton ever, very odd to say the least.