Whitman: Cubit, Groce 'deserve my entire support'

New Illinois athletics director makes first public comments on future status of men's basketball, football coaches

Josh Whitman spoke publicly for the first time as the new Illinois athletics director Thursday morning on Chicago's WSCR-AM 670.

He also made his first public comments on Illinois football coach Bill Cubit, who is entering his second season as Illinois football head coach and first as the "permanent" head coach -- though he is on an usually short two-year contract -- and Illinois basketball coach John Groce, who is likely headed to his third straight missed NCAA Tournament.

"I'm sure that is the question on everybody's mind," Whitman said on "The Mully and Hanley Show" on Thusday morning. "I can tell you that my standard approach is I try to avoid putting myself in situations where I have to make knee-jerk decision. I've not met Coach Cubit. I haven't met Coach Groce. I look forward to sitting down with them over the course of the weekend and having a chance to visit, just talk with them. I will support them to the fullest. I understand that there might be some decisions down the road, but those are folks who deserve my entire support and will get that. I just look forward to having the chance to talk with them and help them so that we can put ourself in the position to be as successful as possible."

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