Former UConn basketball coach Kevin Ollie won his arbitration case Thursday against the university and will be owed more than $11 million. Ollie, 49, spent six seasons as UConn's coach before he was dismissed in March 2018 amid an initiation of "disciplinary measures" by the school as it sought to terminate him for cause and avoid paying his buyout.
UConn "violated the collective bargaining agreement when it terminated Kevin Ollie without just cause," arbitrator Mark Irvings ruled, according to the Hartford Courant. UConn was ordered to pay Ollie "$11,157,032.95 within the next 10 business days." As a member of the University of Connecticut's branch of the American Association of University Professors, Ollie had additional protections beyond those in his normal employment agreement, and it was the union which filed the grievance on his behalf.
At issue were allegations that Ollie committed multiple NCAA recruiting infractions. But he struck back, claiming the university did not allow him to formally challenge its decision, which was in violation of his constitutional rights. Ultimately, the Huskies received two years of probation from the NCAA for the violations committed under Ollie's watch as the legal battle between Ollie and his alma mater ramped up.
Ollie was given a three-year show-cause and has not worked in college basketball since. He is currently the coach and director of player development for Overtime Elite, a new professional development program that pays elite high school prospects.
"The past few years have allowed me to gain perspective on what really matters: family," Ollie wrote for The Athletic in April 2021 as he revealed his move to Overtime Elite. "Life blessed me with an opportunity to deeply devote time to my family, to see my kids' soccer games and have them home without interruptions or obligations. That time fueled my soul, and filled up my tank. Now, I'm ready for my next chapter."
Ollie played for UConn's in the early 1990s and enjoyed a long NBA career before returning to be an assistant for the Huskies in 2010. He replaced legendary coach Jim Calhoun for the 2012-13 season and led UConn to a national title in his second season on the job but won just one NCAA Tournament game in the four seasons that followed leading up to his dismissal.