NCAA charges ex-UConn coach Ollie with violations

Former Connecticut men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie has been hit with an unethical conduct charge and other charges by the NCAA.

Ollie and the university received notification from the NCAA on Friday of the charges. The most serious among them alleges that Ollie provided false information about phone calls that took place between a top recruit and former UConn players Ray Allen and Rudy Gay, ESPN reported.

UConn fired Ollie, who led the Huskies to the national championship in 2014, on March 10, contending it was for just cause. Firing Ollie with cause would eliminate a buyout of almost $10 million per his contract, which was extended to run through 2021.

According to ESPN, the NCAA contends Ollie also didn’t tell the truth about what he knew about the workouts led for players by Derek Hamilton, a professional trainer and Ollie’s friend.

In all, according to the notice, Ollie was charged with violations that include exceeding limits on practice times, allowing unfair recruiting benefits and failing to monitor outside workouts, ESPN reported.

Specifically, Ollie, 45, has been accused of arranging the calls between a five-star recruit and the former UConn players; having unallowed contact with a recruit; providing meals to recruits who were on unofficial visits; failing to monitor Hamilton; and providing Hamilton with football tickets, which was a violation because his son was eligible to be recruited.

The university was not listed as a party to the charges.

“The NCAA’s notice of allegations is part of a process we have been expecting,” UConn said in a statement. “We believe its allegations are consistent with our original, internal findings and our joint investigative work with the enforcement staff. We maintain that the actions we have taken to date remain appropriate and consistent with the type, nature, and severity of the levied allegations.

“While the allegations are a disappointment for the university, our student-athletes and coaches, and certainly all of UConn Nation, we believe strongly that we have made difficult yet appropriate decisions intended to protect the accountability, integrity, and success of our athletic program now and well into the future.”

Ollie is a UConn graduate who played guard for the Huskies from 1991-95 before playing for multiple NBA teams from 1997-2010. He repeatedly has denied he committed any violations and is fighting for the $10 million he believes the school owes him.

He has 90 days to respond to the allegations levied against him by the NCAA.