The Kevin Ollie Firing Just Became A Mess As He Claims Violation Of Rights

Connecticut v Arizona

[ESPN] - In a letter submitted to school president Susan Herbst and obtained by ESPN, Ollie’s lawyers say the university proceeded with the firing in March before granting Ollie a proper opportunity to contest the termination, as guaranteed in his contract and the collective bargaining agreement with his union.

The men’s basketball program is the subject of an ongoing NCAA inquiry, which is the reason UConn cited when it announced its decision. Details of the inquiry are unclear, but the NCAA has not sent a notice of allegations to the school, according to sources with knowledge of the case.

“From our review of the facts and circumstances relating to Coach Ollie’s employment status, it is apparent that the University of Connecticut has already violated [Coach Ollie’s] rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by subverting Coach Ollie’s opportunity to respond to charges and evidence in a meaningful way in advance of the decision to terminate his employment,” said the letter dated April 3.

“The public record, action taken, and authorized communications by representatives of the University of Connecticut, demonstrate that the decision to terminate Coach Ollie has already been made and therefore the University of Connecticut has effectively negated Coach Ollie’s property right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

So this Kevin Ollie situation just got a whole lot messier as ESPN is reporting. The main thing here is the 14th Amendment claim – which addresses due process, something Ollie thinks the school violated. More importantly it’s just a way to show that Ollie believes he’s still owed the $10-plus million from his contract that wasn’t paid out because UConn cited the investigation by the NCAA as part of the cause for firing Ollie.

The other main takeaway from the ESPN report is that the NCAA hasn’t sent a notice of allegations to the school like it was previously talked about. Now, the program is still subject to an ongoing investigation within the NCAA, but a notice of allegations hasn’t been sent, which is two completely different things. Whatever stems from this ongoing investigation could ultimately be the key piece for both sides here. If any sanctions or reports do come out then it could be in favor of UConn. If a notice of allegations is never sent and UConn doesn’t receive any sanctions then you have to believe Ollie has a serious case on his hand to win that $10 million that he’s still owed from his contract.

This isn’t going to get resolved any time soon, so expect a lot of back and forth here between the two sides. Ollie was one of the best players in UConn history before taking over for his former coach Jim Calhoun. He immediately led UConn to a national title on the back of Shabazz Napier, but ultimately his time at UConn felt underwhelming. He went just 127-79 while missing the NCAA Tournament 4 times- 1 of which UConn was ineligible for. This past year was ultimately what led to the firing – and UConn was able to use the NCAA investigation as just cause. Ollie went 14-18 this past season and there started to become a louder voice from the UConn fans about replacing him with someone and that he only won with Calhoun’s guys. Ultimately, UConn did just that and got their top guy in Danny Hurley.