Former University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach, Kevin Ollie, is claiming the university violated his constitutional rights by firing him for “just cause” without giving him the opportunity to contest the decision.
Ollie’s lawyers at the New London-based firm of Madsen, Prestley & Parenteau sent a letter to UConn President Susan Herbst on April 3 stating that the university did not grant him the opportunity guaranteed in his contract to contest his termination before he was fired, according to ESPN.
Ollie’s lawyers are arguing that due to this, his firing violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights, according to the Hartford Courant.
“From our review of the facts and circumstances relating to Coach Ollie’s employment status, it is clear that the University of Connecticut has already violated his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by subverting Coach Ollie’s opportunity to respond to charges and evidence in a meaningful way in advance of the decision to terminate his employment,” the letter reads in part.
UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz declined to comment to the Courant, telling them the University doesn’t publicly comment on personnel matters.
Ollie was fired on March 10 after back-to-back losing seasons, according to the Courant. The university cited an ongoing NCAA investigation as “just cause” to terminate his employment.
The next step in his case is a hearing to appeal to Herbst, according to the Courant. After that Ollie can take it to arbitration and if an arbitrator rules in UConn’s favor, Ollie could file a lawsuit based on the argument in the letter.
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.