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The Bernstein Brief: 2 Big Ten Coaches Under Pressure

By Dan Bernstein-- senior columnist

(CBS) It should come as no surprise that Illinois basketball coach John Groce may be on his last legs. The program has stagnated, and while the embarrassing string of off-court incidents has stopped for now, the game results remain less than the standard desired by those in charge.

"Displeasure is mounting," sources tell 670 The Score, amid an already-skeptical and weary faction of trustees and powerful boosters, and the rise of Northwestern has caused even more agita for those based in and around Chicago. It would take an unlikely turnaround from an Illini team that's 12-7 to ensure Groce's future in Champaign.

A similar dynamic is at work in Indiana as well, as Hoosiers coach Tom Crean faces his own group of bosses less than enamored with his level of success. Sources describe a growing feeling in Bloomington that Crean is more recruiter than coach, noting the specific example of Wisconsin as a team that consistently does more with less as opposed to Crean's body of work that has evinced quite the opposite. Conference titles are expected there almost by state birthright, and a continued position as a middle-of-the-road Big Ten performer is causing understandable consternation.

Football headwinds at both schools have only increased the focus on basketball, too, as officials at both places believe positive change can occur faster on the hardwood than the gridiron.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score's "Bernstein and Goff Show" in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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