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Exclusive! The Real Reasons Why Lovie Smith Was Extended Instead Of Fired

Illini football coach Lovie Smith is 9-27 in three seasons including 4-23 in the Big Ten - good enough to have his contract extended for two more years to 2023!

While the extension stunned most sentient human beings, the Beachwood has learned the many reasons behind athletic director Josh Whitman's move.

* Kept margin of loss to Iowa to 63 points; Whitman had Under 64 in the office pool and won a free trip to Galena.

* Lovie won the "grow a white beard and pretend we don't all see it" bet.

* Nick Saban isn't available until 2024.

* Lovie's $12 billion buyout was slightly more than the $11.9 billion the athletic department budgeted for buyouts this year.

* Didn't want to ruin Champaign-Urbana's new slogan, "We Lovie It Here!"

* Professor Smith may not being doing well on the field, but his English lit students love him.

* Whitman is auditioning for a job with the Browns.

* Whitman tanking in order to get good high school draft picks.

* Otherwise, according to a loophole in university bylaws, Whitman would have had to extend the band director, who already thinks the band is the only reason folks come to games, which is increasingly true.

* Lovie has photos of Whitman in redface.

* That's how long it's going to take for Lovie to finish his dissertation on the political economy of the Cover 2, and Whitman is his dissertation advisor.

* To improve the "living room experience" with recruits through ability to promise stable environment for losing instead of unstable environment for losing.

* Didn't want to create the continuity issues that go along with winning.

* Because it takes time to fire such a highly compensated mediocre coach and Whitman is determined to do it right.

* Whitman didn't want it to look like he was just copying UNC.

* Every pledge to Sigma Alpha Epsilon has to sign their worst employee to a contract extension has part of the hazing process, and Whitman really wants to get into Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

* Whitman so upset with Lovie's performance that he's making him stay at Illinois four more years.

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