UConn

UConn fires Kevin Ollie after back-to-back sub-.500 seasons

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UConn fires Kevin Ollie after back-to-back sub-.500 seasons

UConn has fired men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie, citing a pending NCAA inquiry. A just completed 14-17 season, following a 16-17 season a year ago, no doubt were factors, too.

The school announced it has “initiated disciplinary procedures to terminate the employment of Kevin Ollie for just cause.” Ollie coached the Huskies to the national championship four years ago. He reached two NCAA Tournaments in his six years since taking over for legendary coach Jim Calhoun. 

The program is under NCAA investigation for recruiting violations, which is the "just cause" the university cited. That would exempt the school from paying the former UConn guard, who played for Calhoun and for 13 seasons in the NBA, the remaining $10 million left on the final three years of his contract.

The past two sub-.500 seasons were the Huskies first since 1987, Calhoun's first season after coming from Northeastern. Calhoun won three national titles at UConn. 

Here's more on the Ollie firing and possible successors from NBCSports.com's Rob Dauster.

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UConn men's basketball team under NCAA investigation

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UConn men's basketball team under NCAA investigation

By Rob Dauster, NBCSports.com

UConn is currently being investigated by the NCAA, the school confirmed on Thursday night to Jeff Jacobs, a longtime columnist in Connecticut.

According to Jacobs, the investigation in some way involves UConn’s recruiting. UConn didn’t give away any secrets in the statement they released.

The Hartford Courant is reporting that there are three recruits at the center of the investigation, and not all of them ended up playing for the Huskies. The paper also says that more than 100 hours of interviews have already been conducted.

But the investigation itself isn’t really what’s interesting here.

Kevin Ollie is what’s interesting.

It is not a secret that Ollie, who won the 2014 national title as the coach of the Huskies, is in some hot water in the state. He’s missed two of the last three NCAA tournaments and has been just twice in his tenure as head coach. He’s coming off the first losing season for UConn in three decades. The coaching staff is turning over like crazy. Talented players are transferring anywhere else that will take them. It’s a mess.

And it’s one that UConn, in theory, is going to have to pay for. Ollie does not have a buyout in his contract. He’s owed what he’s owed, which is nearly $3.5 million per year for the next three years. But there is an out in his contract: He’s owed nothing if he’s fired for just cause.

Would an NCAA investigation into the UConn program that he is heading be just cause?

I think Husky fans would hope so.

 

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Boston College beats UConn 39-16 in wind and rain at Fenway Park

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Boston College beats UConn 39-16 in wind and rain at Fenway Park

BOSTON -- Boston College won a football game in a baseball park, and now the Eagles are going bowling.

AJ Dillon rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns, breaking free on a 48-yard run and a 53-yard score on Saturday night as BC beat UConn 39-16 at Fenway Park to qualify for a bowl game for the fourth time in five years.

"It's an experience I'm not going to forget," said Dillon, a Connecticut native and New York Yankees fan who watched BC play Notre Dame at Fenway in 2015 and imagined himself breaking tackles in the ballpark. "[I was] saying, `Wow. It must be amazing to be on that field.' I got the opportunity to soak it all in."

Playing most of the game in a heavy rain, with groundskeepers patching the wet and worn-out turf most every timeout, the Eagles (6-5) opened a 36-point lead before UConn (3-8) scored two late touchdowns against the BC substitutes.

One week after BC quarterback Anthony Brown sustained a season-ending knee injury, Darius Wade completed 7 of 15 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. He was helped by Dillon's running, another 107 yards rushing from Jon Hillimanand two long interception returns, including a 65-yard pick-six by Taj-Amir Torres.

"Big plays have hurt us all year long," said UConn coach Randy Edsall, whose team gained 8 net yards on five second-quarter possessions. "We're not built to go three-and-out and use less than a minute and put our defense right back out there.

HOME ON THE ROAD

Although the century-old ballpark is less than four miles from BC's Chestnut Hill campus, UConn was officially the home team. But the opportunity to use the Red Sox clubhouse didn't help the Huskies avoid falling to 0-12-2 all-time against BC.

"It was a cool experience that I'm sadly going to remember," said UConn defensive lineman Luke Carrezola, who grew up a Phillies fan. "You could tell by the Massachusetts kids that it was really cool."

GARBAGE TIME

BC led 39-3 in the fourth before Kevin Mensah ran 70 yards for a touchdown. David Pindell followed by hitting Hergy Mayala for a 43-yard score. The Huskies went for the 2-point conversion, which failed, then opted not to try an onside kick with just over 4 minutes left.

Pindell finished with a career-high 241 yards on 14-for-33 passing, with three interceptions.

SCORING

A 21-point favorite, BC trailed 3-0 after one quarter before Wade rolled to his left toward the Red Sox dugout and evaded tacklers long enough to find Chris Garrison in the end zone, right in front of where home plate would usually be.

Dillon followed with his 53-yard TD, dragging four defenders into the end zone - with another standing by and watching. He added a 20-yard TD run in the third to make it 33-3.

It was Dillon's second career 200-yard game and the first 200-yard rusher against UConn since Ray Rice did it for Rutgers in 2005.

Hilliman scored on 38- and 3-yard runs, and Lukas Denis picked off Pindell at the goal line and ran it back 56 yards to set up Dillon's second score.

THE TAKEAWAY

Boston College: Steve Addazio is the first BC coach to go to four bowl games in his first five seasons. "Your next goal is compete for a conference championship," Addazio said. "And that's something that's going to be coming."

UConn: The Huskies picked up a nice check - $1.25 million - and some players got the thrill of playing in Fenway Park.

OUT FOR THE SEASON

Boston College announced before the game that defensive back Kamrin Moore will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury he sustained last week against North Carolina State. Moore, a captain, had started 23 consecutive games before missing Saturday night's game against UConn.

Moore finished with 140 tackles, six for a loss, and two interceptions.

KICKING WOES

Boston College missed three extra points and had a field goal blocked.

UP NEXT

Boston College: Wraps up the regular season against Syracuse on Saturday.

UConn: Finishes its season against Cincinnati next Saturday.

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