The University of Connecticut and former basketball coach Kevin Ollie have been notified by the NCAA of alleged recruiting and other violations during his tenure at the school.
The notice of allegations, released Friday night by UConn with the names of recruits redacted, include numerous charges, including unethical conduct by Ollie for allegedly provided false or misleading information about video calls to a recruit from two former UConn stars, Hall of Famer Ray Allen and San Antonio Spurs guard Rudy Gay.
Based on the allegations, the NCAA recommends the case be reviewed by a hearing panel of its Committee on Infractions “pursuant to procedures applicable to a severe breach of conduct.”
Ollie was fired by UConn in March with cause, allowing the school to forgo paying him the $10 million left on his contract. The school later released 1,300 pages documents outlining alleged NCAA violations under Ollie.
Ollie is challenging the school’s decision to withhold the money and has asserted that any violations were minimal and isolated.
His attorney, Jim Parenteau, issued a statement Friday night disputing the NCAA findings and said he “is disappointed that the NCAA has chosen to align itself with the University of Connecticut in the pending arbitration.”
“Coach Ollie denies engaging in any conduct that would constitute non-compliance with NCAA rules and regulations and looks forward to defending himself and restoring his reputation,” he wrote.
UConn officials said in a statement that the findings are consistent with the results of the school’s own investigation and they had been expecting the news.
“While the allegations are a disappointment for the university, our student-athletes and coaches, and certainly all of UConn Nation, we believe strongly that we have made difficult yet appropriate decisions intended to protect the accountability, integrity, and success of our athletic program now and well into the future,” the statement read.
The allegations against Ollie and his staff also include: having improper contact with recruits, providing impermissible meals to recruits, shooting baskets with a recruit, holding improper workouts and providing free tickets to an athletic trainer who hosted improper training sessions both on campus and in Georgia, which amounted to gifts.
Most of the violations had already been outlined in more than 1,300 pages of documents released by UConn in the spring.
UConn President Susan Herbst, in a June letter upholding the decision to fire Ollie, said the coach’s failure to report eve inadvertent violations constitutes either a knowing disregard for his compliance obligations or a “gross inability to satisfy them.”
Ollie was fired after a 14-18 season amid the NCAA investigation. He led UConn to a 127-79 record over six seasons, including the 2014 national title.
The school in March hired coach Dan Hurley to take over the program, which opens practice on Saturday and has it first game of the season on Nov. 8 against Morehead State.
Source: The Associated Press