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Football: Aurora Christian players remain committed to NIU

Senior BrandMayes is one three AurorChristian players who signed play football for Northern Illinois. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

Senior Brandon Mayes is one of three Aurora Christian players who signed to play football for Northern Illinois. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 8, 2013 6:27AM

They’re standing firm.

Three Aurora Christian players — DB/RB Brandon Mayes, WR Chad Beebe and LB/RB Joel Bouagnon — and their coach monitored with great interest last weekend the national flood of NIU football coverage, from its MAC title game win to coach Dave Doeren’s departure and the naming of his successor (Rod Carey) to its shock-the-college-football-world bid to the Orange Bowl.

All three continue to be committed to Northern, said Don Beebe, Chad’s dad and coach of the two-time Class 3A state champs. He said that’s also true for him and Aurora Christian, squelching speculation he might be ready to move on since his son will graduate this year.

“I talked to Dave Doeren the night he got to North Carolina and, personally, I can’t blame him (for leaving),” Don Beebe said. “It’s a great opportunity as a coach, although the only move up to me is in salary. I think Northern is in better position, football-wise, but that’s just my opinion. Going from (a salary of) $460,000 to $1.8 million? How many people wouldn’t ask where the sheet of paper was to sign.”

The elder Beebe does think the NCAA needs to make some changes.

“I feel bad for (Doeren),” he said. “The system is broke. Coaches should not be allowed to take a new job until they finish their season (including bowl games).

“(Doeren’s Northern) team is ranked 15th in the country and going to the Orange Bowl, something that will probably never happen again and he can’t coach them. Something’s wrong with that.”

The only way it could happen, Beebe concedes, would be to either push the signing date for recruits back from the first week in February back to April or move it up to November.

He insisted Doeren handled things with class. All three players committed to scholarship offers from Doeren and the Huskies last summer. Beebe also spoke with Carey after he was promoted.

“There was no step back from (the original offers),” Beebe said. “We are very pleased with that and all three remain committed.”

Beebe has coached the Eagles for nine years and acknowledged he has received other coaching offers but said just because his son graduates this year doesn’t mean he’s ready to move on.

“It would have to be the perfect scenario for me to leave, there are more important things in my life than big money — my kids, my wife,” he said, “I’ve got what I think would be the perfect job. I’ve had big opportunities, as many as 15 to 20, in the past but I just wasn’t ready. I’m having the time of my life, that’s all I know.”

And, he believes that Aurora Christian is still the place “where God wants me.”

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