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Former UConn coach Kevin Ollie charged by NCAA with unethical conduct

Connecticut v Arizona

TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 21: Head coach Kevin Ollie of the Connecticut Huskies reacts during the first half of the college basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on December 21, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Huskies 73-58. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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The NCAA has given former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie an unethical conduct charge that could lead to an eventual show-cause penalty.

According to an initial report by ESPN’s Myron Medcalf, Ollie received the NCAA’s notice of allegations on Friday, as a Level I unethical conduct charge for Ollie is the most severe problem he’s facing. The NCAA alleges that Ollie gave false or misleading information about phone calls between former UConn stars Ray Allen and Rudy Gay with a UConn recruit.

The NCAA also claims that Ollie falsely denied knowledge that professional trainer Derek Hamilton was having detailed workouts with UConn players -- including Hamilton paying for expenses and tickets for UConn players. Ollie has been charged with multiple violations, including providing unfair recruiting advantages, exceeding limits on practice times, failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance and failing to monitor players’ outside workouts.

All of these alleged violations fall under the coaching responsibility violation, meaning that Ollie is solely responsible for these violations, and not the University of Connecticut.

This is of particular interest because Ollie and UConn are also in the midst of an arbitration hearing with the university as he tries to fight for the remaining $10 million on his contract. UConn fired Ollie, with just cause, back in March, as they mentioned his failure to promote compliance as part of the reason why.

Ollie has 90 days to respond to the NCAA’s claims before the process continues. The Committee on Infractions will make a final decision about the allegations and punishments after more information is gathered from Ollie, UConn and members of the NCAA’s enforcement staff. According to Medcalf’s report, Ollie’s camp maintains that he has witnesses who can refute some of the NCAA’s charges.

UConn released its own statement later on Friday night that seemed to indicate that the school believes they’ve done all they can to correct the issues by letting go of Ollie.

With Ollie having to battle the NCAA, as well as UConn for the remaining money on his contract, it’ll be interesting to see how those two cases play out over the next several months. While the two cases are separate from one another, the NCAA’s process could have an affect on the arbitration process with the school.