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Details on UConn’s “Just Cause” Case Against Kevin Ollie Come to Light

Former assistant Glen Miller went on the record with the NCAA and provided lots of information on what led to the former coach’s firing.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

On Wednesday, the Hartford Courant outlined the case that UConn has against former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie, who the university fired for cause on March 10.

The Courant received over 1,300 pages of documents from the university as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and a large majority of those pages came in the form of testimony from former UConn associate head coach Glen Miller, who was let go after the 2016-17 season, allegedly by Ollie.

Miller was on Jim Calhoun’s original staff at UConn in 1986 and is now the Assistant Director of Men’s Basketball at St. Joseph’s University in Hartford, where Calhoun is employed as a consultant to help begin a men’s basketball program. He spoke with the NCAA on the condition of immunity.

All of what Ollie did was minor, but in the university’s opinion, the sum of what he had done was enough to fire him for cause, which would also relieve them of Ollie’s eight-figure buyout.

While on an official visit, former Huskies commit James Akinjo shot a few baskets with Ollie and his aunt tweeted a video. It was later taken down after being published by the Courant. That incident was self-reported to the NCAA.

Miller also confirmed that Ollie planned to have Ray Allen, a former UConn guard who will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame this fall, call a recruit on Ollie’s executive assistant’s phone. Allen is considered a booster by the NCAA and boosters contacting recruits is impermissible under NCAA rules.

Danny Griffin, who is a friend of Ollie’s and was on-staff in a non-coaching role, is also alleged to have had illegal contact with two recruits. Miller attempted to inform Ollie that this may be happening, but he says that Ollie did not listen.

“There was times when I advised Kevin that this was probably not a good thing to do for obvious reasons,” Miller said in his testimony. “I got a strong impression from him by his conduct and his interactions after that, that he didn’t want to hear that from me.”

Other personal friends of Ollie’s trained current players outside of allowable times, both on and off campus.

Derreck Hamilton had on-campus, after-hours workouts in 2015 and 2016, in addition to summer workouts in Atlanta. It was all-inclusive for those that attended, including lodging, airfare and food, all of which is not allowed under NCAA rules.

It could be these workouts that prevented Terry Larrier and Jalen Adams from participating in warmups before March 8’s American Athletic Conference tournament game against SMU, as athletic director David Benedict and other university officials were determining if the pair should be allowed to play, as they were at the time believed to have participated in impermissible workouts.

The case is currently in arbitration between UConn and Ollie, who is being represented by the American Association of University Professors.

UPDATE: 8 am, June 21

In his testimony according to the Manchester JI’s Neill Ostrout, Miller claimed he heard through his wife that a player’s mother told her that she received $30,000 in moving and living expenses to follow her son to Connecticut.

He also said Ollie’s former agent, Bret Just, told Miller he was fired because he didn’t bring enough recruits to UConn.

UPDATE: 12 pm, June 21

Kevin Ollie released a statement thanking UConn fans and wishing coach Dan Hurley and the program well going forward.