Ollie is going to get fired.
They’re lucky they’re off probation from the last incident they had in 2011.
UConn to the ACC then?
This is very convenient for UCONN since they can now fire Ollie for just cause and not have to pay his large buyout. Perhaps a little too convenient?
Geno Auriemma, who coaches the currently undefeated UConn women’s team, was asked about the possible damage to the UConn brand following his win before a sold-out Gampel Pavilion on Saturday.
“The interesting thing is 10,000 people came to the game today and I bet not one of them cared too much about what was going on [with the men’s team],” Auriemma said. “So I think if we continue to put a good product on the floor, on the field, wherever, we’ll be OK.”
Will the NCAA come down on UCONN and punish them at all?
The letter then goes on to describe specific violations including:
Ollie shot baskets with a potential recruit while the unnamed recruit was on an official visit. A portion of that shootaround was videotaped by the player’s aunt, which was then published by The Courant, which is how Benedict learned of the incident. Ollie didn’t deny that he participated in the shootaround but claimed it was limited in scope. The university self-reported the incident to the NCAA. In September, guard James Akinjo from California was on an official visit, and he and Ollie stopped to shoot baskets together in the Werth Family Center. Akinjo’s guardian took video of it and posted it on Twitter, which The Courant noted in a story after Akinjo committed to UConn. The video was taken down from Twitter.
Ollie facilitated a call between a potential recruit and former UConn All-America Ray Allen, who is now considered a booster by the NCAA. When confronted with the call, Benedict alleged that Ollie denied the call was prearranged. In addition the call was not made on Ollie’s phone but on the cellphone of his executive assistant from Ollie’s house. Benedict said using another employee’s phone “further suggests that the call deliberately occurred in a covert manner.”
Ollie got a close personal friend named Derek Hamilton to train some of the players off campus in 2015-16. Several players participated in after-hours, on-campus workouts with Hamilton as well as off-campus workouts. Three players traveled to Atlanta to train with Hamilton and the players were fed, transported and housed for free — all considered NCAA violations. The letter said one of the parents of a player who went to Atlanta even called Ollie to ask if the trip was permissible. Hamilton, reached by The Courant Wednesday, said, “I have nothing to say about that. I have not talked to the NCAA and I don’t really know what’s going on.”
The letter then indicates that Ollie downplayed Hamilton’s role with the program and told investigators that no players trained with Hamilton and that Hamilton spent little time on campus. But UConn has hotel records showing Hamilton’s presence on campus as well as that Ollie gave him complimentary tickets to three games.
Benedict also said that Ollie failed to report any possible NCAA violations as was his responsibility. “Every violation I am raising was discovered from sources other than you or your staff,” Benedict wrote, adding that in one instance Benedict found out about the impermissible tryout through the media.
Benedict also questioned the role of Danny Griffin, a friend of Ollie’s who was brought in as a noncoaching staff member by Ollie. The investigation showed that Griffin had impermissible phone contact with at least two recruits.
And while Herbst acknowledged the investigation into Calhoun’s program, which resulted in a three-game suspension for the Hall of Fame head coach, she noted that because of that investigation, Ollie’s contract rigidly promoted adherence to NCAA rules.
“It was precisely because of the circumstances under which you took over the men’s basketball program that compelled [former A.D. Warde] Manuel and myself to each independently stress to you our expectation of a program which was on NCAA probation and, therefore, none were given the same specific direction upon hire that Mr. Manuel and I gave you,” Herbst wrote.
Ollie and his lawyers have appealed Herbst’s decision, which was made public June 20, and the case will go before an arbitrator unless the sides can come to an agreement beforehand.
In the letter, which was sent to UConn President Susan Herbst on Tuesday, Ollie’s legal team demands a retraction from the school, which recently released NCAA transcripts to media outlets – in response to a Freedom of Information Act request – that included a secondhand claim by former associate head coach Glen Miller that Ollie paid the mother of a former recruit $30,000 in exchange for her son’s commitment.
Ollie’s lawyers want a retraction from the school. They claim the NCAA transcripts detailed false claims and confidential information that was protected by FOIA laws because they’re related to an ongoing investigation and personnel matters.