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Arbitrator rules UConn improperly fired Huskies men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie


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Arbitrator rules UConn improperly fired Huskies men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie


STORRS, Conn. (AP) — An arbitrator has ruled that UConn improperly fired former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie and must pay him more than $11 million, Ollie’s lawyer said Thursday.

Attorney Jacques Parenteau called Thursday’s ruling from arbitrator Mark Irvings a “total vindication” for Ollie, who was fired in the spring of 2018 after the school reported it was investigating numerous potential NCAA violations in his program.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018.

Parenteau said the arbitrator’s ruling shows that decision by the NCAA was “erroneous and unfounded.”

“This arbitration clearly established — after 33 days of hearings and the testimony and cross examination of actual witnesses under oath — that Kevin Ollie did not violate the NCAA rules that were used to justify the draconian sanctions imposed on him,” Parenteau and co-counsel William Madsen said in a statement. “The Arbitrator correctly found that there was no just cause to terminate Kevin Ollie’s employment as the head coach of an NCAA basketball team.”

But the school said the ruling stated only that UConn should have waited for the NCAA’s decision before firing Ollie and said it strongly disagrees with that decision, saying it did not have “the luxury of waiting more than a year before terminating Ollie for the misconduct the university was aware he had engaged in.”

“The arbitrator’s decision is nonsensical and seriously impedes the university’s ability to manage its athletics program,” the university said in a statement. “It also sends a signal to other coaches in Connecticut that they may ignore NCAA rules with impunity and continue to be employed and paid.”

Irvings ruled that Ollie is due $11,157,032.95 within the next 10 business days, Parenteau said.

The school did not say whether it would seek to have the award vacated, an outcome Parenteau said is extremely rare in these types of arbitrations.

Ollie, a former UConn point guard…



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