Just prior to the start of the game, ABC cameras showed what looked to be Beckman using smokeless chewing tobacco on the Illini sidelines. The NCAA has stricter than strict rules when it comes to narcotics on the sidelines and tobacco falls under that category for the NCAA.
Here’s what the official handbook from the NCAA says about tobacco on the sidelines:
“The use of tobacco products is prohibited for coaches, game officials and student athletes in all sports during practice and competition. A student-athlete who uses tobacco products during practice or competition is automatically disqualified for the remainder of that practice or game.”
Beckman wasn’t kicked off the sidelines but he can expect minor punishment from the NCAA for flying in the face of their rules. If history has shown us anything it’s that the NCAA likes to through their weight around and when you get in the way of that they come down hard.
It’s not the first time, however, that tobacco has been used on the sidelines in recent history. Just this May Ohio State reported to the NCAA that one of their 46 violations was that assistant coach Mike Vrabel used smokeless tobacco on their sidelines during games. It was because of this incident we all learned that using tobacco on the sidelines is a secondary violation in the NCAA.
A secondary violation is basically a slap on the wrist, as one Alabama coach busted for secondary violation this summer was merely banned from making recruiting calls for 30 days.