UConn Response to Arbitrator Decision in Ollie Case

UConn Response to Arbitrator Decision in Ollie Case

Jan. 20, 2022

UConn vigorously disagrees with the decision of the arbitrator and maintains without reservation that the decision to terminate Kevin Ollie when it did was the correct and appropriate decision.

Indeed, in his decision, the arbitrator agrees that the NCAA's ruling that Ollie engaged in serious NCAA violations gave UConn sufficient basis to terminate Ollie for just cause. However, the arbitrator concluded that UConn should have waited the 16 months it took for the NCAA proceedings to conclude before terminating Ollie.

As an NCAA member institution, UConn 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. UConn could not continue to employ a head coach with the knowledge that he had violated NCAA rules that put student athletes, as well as the entire UConn athletics program, in jeopardy.

UConn is disappointed that the arbitrator concluded that the standard of just cause set forth in Ollie's individual employment agreement was superseded by the definition in the collective bargaining agreement. Yet this same employment agreement forms the basis of the salary awarded.

The arbitrator's decision is nonsensical and seriously impedes the University's ability to manage its athletics program. 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.

It is also inconsistent that the coaches are entitled to the benefits of the employment contracts negotiated between the University and its coaches, but cannot be held to the ethical and behavioral standards contained in those same agreements.