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UConn Agrees to Pay Former Coach Kevin Ollie $3.9 Million


The University of Connecticut agreed on Thursday to pay Kevin Ollie $3.9 million to settle a lengthy legal fight that began almost the moment the college fired Ollie, its one-time favorite son, as men’s basketball coach in 2018.

The agreement got here after an arbitrator ruled in January that Connecticut owed Ollie, a former standout point guard who coached UConn to the national championship in 2014, the remaining $11 million on his contract. The varsity fired Ollie in 2018 amid an N.C.A.A. investigation into recruiting violations and after two consecutive losing seasons.

While a university spokeswoman called the arbitrator’s decision “nonsensical” in January, the tone was conciliatory on Thursday. In truth, the six-page agreement, which settles all remaining claims by Ollie, requires each parties to reply with “no comment,” or words to those effect, to any media inquiries in regards to the settlement.

“I’m pleased that this matter is now fully and at last resolved,” Ollie said in an announcement.

The N.C.A.A. eventually placed Connecticut on two years’ probation in 2019 for a series of rule-skirting maneuvers under Ollie: student managers keeping statistics on pickup games and reporting back to the coaches; a video coordinator breaking down film with players; a friend of Ollie’s who was a trainer not charging players for workouts; and Ollie arranging a call between a recruit and the previous Huskies stars Ray Allen and Rudy Gay.

N.C.A.A. investigators also charged Ollie with lying to or misleading them.

Ollie was hit with a three-year show-cause penalty, which required any school that desired to hire him during that point to elucidate to the N.C.A.A. every six months how Ollie was complying with its rules. Ollie, once considered a future N.B.A. coach, is now coaching for Additional time Elite, a league for top school- and college-aged players who aspire to play professionally.

Ollie’s attorneys had argued that the college didn’t stand behind him the identical way it did the previous coach Jim Calhoun during a previous N.C.A.A. investigation.

After Connecticut won the championship in Ollie’s second season, knocking off 4 highly ranked teams — including the No. 1-ranked Florida within the national semifinals — its fortunes declined. The Huskies have won just one N.C.A.A. tournament game since and none under the brand new coach, Dan Hurley.

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