01 October 2018

How did we get here? All the background you need on the saga surrounding Kevin Ollie's UConn contract


Michael A. Rueda
Partner | Head of US Sports and Entertainment | US

This article was initially published by the Hartford Courant on September 29, 2018 and features US Head of Sports, Michael Rueda.

The NCAA issued a notice of allegations against former UConn men’s basketball coach Friday, accusing him of taking part in unethical conduct, among other violations. Here is all you need to know about the NCAA’s findings and the broader saga surrounding Ollie’s firing.

What is Ollie’s current status at UConn?

Despite being fired as basketball coach (and replaced by Dan Hurley), Ollie remains a UConn employee. He is a member of the school’s professors union, which has backed him in the contract dispute, and is therefore afforded collectively bargained rights that prevent him from being summarily terminated. Both athletic director David Benedict and university president Susan Herbst found that there was just cause to fire Ollie, but the process is still playing out at the arbitration stage.

Why did UConn fire Ollie, again?

Benedict notified Ollie on March 10 that the university was initiating the disciplinary process to terminate Ollie citing “just cause.” Not a lot of further details were provided at the time.

In an April letter from Benedict to Ollie, the athletic director sums up what the “just cause” is.

“These behaviors include, but are not limited to, your failure to promote compliance, failure to timely report instances of non-compliance, intentional participation in an impermissible on-campus activity with a prospective student-athlete during an official visit, and/or your intentional facilitation of a prohibited contact between a prospective student-athlete and a representative of the University’s athletics interests for recruiting purposes.

“Furthermore, there is substantial evidence that during the ongoing NCAA investigation into the Men’s Basketball Program, you may not have been completely truthful or forthcoming in the information your provided.”

Keep reading: http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-mens-basketball/hc-sp-uconn-basketball-kevin-ollie-details-background-20180928-story.html#

Michael A. Rueda Partner | Head of US Sports and Entertainment | New York

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