The Fighting Illini were more than living up to that nickname as practice had to be ended early on Wednesday. Coach Lovie Smith waved his players off the field about an hour before practice was supposed to finish and a lot of it had to with the attitude and actions of some of his players.
According to the Decatur Herald & Review, the practice was ended because some players got into a fight. The names of the players is not known as media was not allowed in during that part of practice and was even told to vacate the premises because there wouldn’t be a media session following that practice.
From Decature Herald & Review‘s report:
…a source said Smith wanted to send a strong message about how he hates fighting and considers it an inexcusable transgression that robs the rest of the team of a chance to concentrate on getting better.
The field was cleared at about 5:35 p.m., nearly an hour before practice was scheduled to end. The players were sent to the locker room and the field was quickly cleared of equipment. Reporters were told there would be no interviews and were told to vacate the Memorial Stadium facility.
The Illini finished 3-9 in Smith’s first year at the helm and the practice that had to be terminated early was their sixth of the spring. They’ll conclude with the annual spring on March 10 this year.