NCAA: Former UConn coach Kevin Ollie violated head coach responsibility rules

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The NCAA announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have handed down significant sanctions to UConn stemming from the tenure of former head coach Kevin Ollie.

According to the NCAA, Ollie violated the head coach responsibility rules by failing to monitor his staff as well as failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance. He was also charged with lying to the NCAA during the investigation into these violations.

The violations that UConn was charged with came as a result of “pickup games exceeding preseason countable athletically related activity limits, a video coordinator counting as a coach and resulting in more than the allowable number of coaches, and a booster providing extra benefits to student-athletes.”

Ollie himself absorbed the majority of the punishment. He was handed a three-year show-cause penalty, which essentially bans him from coaching in the collegiate ranks until 2022. That penalty is relatively meaningless, as Ollie is not believed to be interested in returning to coach in college. The school was also put on probation for two years, forced to vacate wins and hit with recruiting sanctions, some of which were self-imposed by the school. The Huskies will also be down a scholarship in 2019-20.

It’s all fairly standard and, given the circumstances, somewhat expected, but where this gets really interesting is with the lawsuit that Ollie has filed against the university. UConn fired Ollie in 2018 with cause due to this impending investigation, but Ollie has pending litigation against the school claiming that he is owed the more than $10 million that was remaining on his contract. Ollie did not have a buyout; his salary was fully guaranteed.

UConn is not a rich athletic department, the state of Connecticut is operating at a deficit and the school is facing a $13.5 million bill for leaving the American and entering the Big East. Getting out from under the money that Ollie is suing for is significant.