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Connecticut State Ethics Board Upholds Corey Edsall Ruling

UConn will have 45 days to appeal the decision.

Ian Bethune

After a stating last week that UConn football assistant coach Corey Edsall’s hiring violated the nepotism clause in the state ethics code, the Citizens Ethics Advisory Board confirmed the ruling with an 8-1 vote, as reported by Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant.

The ruling states Corey will need to vacate his position after this year and no further action will be brought against UConn or Randy Edsall in this case. Anthony reports that UConn has 45 days to make an appeal to the state Supreme Court, an option which it will most likely pursue.

Athletic Director David Benedict was present along with UConn associate general counsel Nicole Fournier Gelston to make the case for the Edsalls. Nevertheless, the board determined Randy was negotiating on his son’s behalf after accepting the job offer on December 28 and that Corey was benefiting improperly. The case mostly centered around when Randy was officially an employee.

"We think the legal conclusions reached were erroneous, as well as the factual basis for those conclusions,” Fournier Gelston told the Courant. “I can't say I'm surprised. Based on the tenor of the draft opinion we received, it seemed clear that the board knew how it was going to come out. So I'm not surprised, but definitely disappointed."

Benedict’s appeal centered on Corey’s possible career progression at UConn being limited, but was unfortunately not successful:

Benedict said Corey Edsall had "a very low ceiling" at UConn and that he would never be promoted to a higher position — say, offensive coordinator — or be given a raise that was not negotiated by the union. Board members argued that even shifting Corey Edsall to a different position group — always a distinct possibility on coaching staffs — would diversify his resume and lead to increased earning potential.

Also, several board members said, it would be impossible for Edsall not to be Corey's supervisor and in a position of influence, despite UConn's plans to have Corey officially report to, and be reviewed by, other members of the athletic department staff. Benedict claimed he would supervise Corey Edsall, who would report to Beth Goetz, chief operating officer for the UConn athletic department, regarding all matters of performance evaluation.

"It is not fixable," general counsel Barbara Housen said. "The fix is, there has to be separation. ... I think if this board concludes that this scenario is OK under the code of ethics ... if this is not impermissible under the codes, I can't imagine another scenario that is."

This is so stupid.