Thanks to a new bill regarding how state agencies should store online data, Randy Edsall may be able to keep his son, Corey, on the UConn football staff. Yes, you read that right.
According to the Hartford Courant, this June, legislators passed Public Act 18-175 which is mostly related to how the state manages its online data. However, they added a one-paragraph amendment to the end of the 11-page bill that read, “A state employee who is employed at a constituent unit of the state system of higher education and a member of the immediate family of such state employee may be employed in the same department or division of such constituent unit.”
The bill added that decisions to hire, promote, renew or give said family member a raise must be made by another state employee outside the immediate family.
Not only would this allow Corey to continue coaching at UConn, it could possibly remove the ethics board from the process completely.
The amendment came after Edsall spoke with Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz as well as legislators Leonard Fasano and Themis Klarides, all of whom agreed Edsall was treated unfairly by the ethics board. According to Fasano, the Office of State Ethics gave an opinion that it would be fine for Edsall to have his son on staff, but reversed their opinion after he returned and Corey joined the staff.
Aresimowicz, a local high school football coach in Berlin, CT, agreed with public sentiment that Corey was well-qualified to be on staff and was not given the position simply because his father was head coach.
“As a head coach for over 20 years I’ve talked to other coaches who say Corey is a first class coach and knows what he is doing,” he told the Hartford Courant. “I believe that UConn has the checks and balances in place to ensure that no one is taking advantage of this situation.”
When Edsall was hired back in January 2017, his contract stated that he himself could not hire his son but the school would do so and place him under the supervision of then-COO Beth Goetz instead of Edsall. The school went through all the necessary steps in order to ensure the arrangement would be allowed before the state ethics committee shot it down.
Both UConn and Edsall filed appeals and in December, a judge ruled Corey can stay in his position until the appeals process was worked out.
The ethics board is currently contesting the new law and is scheduled for a hearing in the Superior Court on July 18.
Edsall has still not signed his contract with UConn and likely will not due so until the situation is resolved. He cited the opportunity to coach with his son as a major reason he returned to Storrs and if he is ultimately unable to do so, it is possible Edsall decides to leave his position.
While nepotism is certainly a concern for a state government, it is common practice for coaches of public schools to have their sons on staff. On top of that, Corey is well-qualified after having spent time at Colorado and in the NFL and is not a higher-level coach, such as a coordinator. The school has also asserted that Corey’s coaching ceiling at UConn is low and he will never hold a position higher than he has now.
It appears as if we are now closer than ever to having a permanent decision on Corey Edsall’s future at UConn.