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Arbitrator rules former UConn men’s basketball coach was improperly fired

Kevin Ollie
Nati Harnik
Associated Press
Former Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie speaks during a news conference ahead of a second-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, March 18, 2016. An independent arbiter has ruled that UConn improperly fired former men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie and must pay him more than $11 million, Ollie's lawyer said Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

A private arbitrator ruled Thursday that former University of Connecticut head men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie was improperly fired.

In his ruling, arbitrator Mark Irvings said UConn violated the collective bargaining agreement when it terminated Ollie without just cause. The former coach is due more than $11 million within the next 10 business days.

The decision comes nearly four years following Ollie’s firing from UConn after the school reported several recruiting violations to the NCAA.

The incidents, which included improper training sessions and improper contact with recruits by Ollie, occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie was sanctioned for those violations while UConn was placed on two years probation.

In a statement, the university said it “vigorously disagreed” with the arbitrator's decision.

Ollie played for UConn from 1991 to 1995. He spent 13 seasons in the NBA before he took over for Hall-of-Famer Jim Calhoun as the Huskies head coach in 2012. Ollie led the program to their fourth national championship in his second year.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.