UConn fires Kevin Ollie with “just cause”

UConn fired head coach Kevin Ollie on Saturday, citing “just cause.”

“The men’s basketball program has a proud history and a tradition of excellence,” school president Susan Herbst said in a statement. “Our goal, above all, is to ensure we have a program that UConn Nation can be proud of, including our students, alumni, fans, and all our committed supporters.”

Ollie replaced Jim Calhoun in 2012 and led the Huskies to the 2014 national championship but the Huskies completed the season below .500 for the second consecutive year, which last happened in 1986-87.

Because there is a pending NCAA inquiry, UConn fired Ollie with “just cause.” Firing Ollie with cause would eliminate a buyout of almost $10 million per his contract, which was extended to run through 2021.

“It is unfortunate that this decision became necessary,” school athletics director David Benedict said in the school’s statement. “As with all of our programs, we hold men’s basketball to the highest standards. We will begin a national search immediately to identify our next head coach.”

UConn said it will have “no further comment on the matter until the completion of both the University’s disciplinary process and the ongoing NCAA investigation.”

UConn was 30-35 the past two seasons and finished 14-18 this season.

Ollie said earlier this week he expected to return but was given no assurances by athletic director David Benedict. Benedict extended Ollie’s contract in 2016.

At the end of the 2016-17 season, three players transferred from the program. One of Ollie’s top recruits — Makai Ashton-Langford — asked to be released from his letter of intent and went to Providence.

–Field Level Media

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