Former University of Connecticut head basketball coach Kevin Ollie is threatening to sue the school after he claims he was defamed and his privacy invaded by an investigation it conducted jointly with the NCAA.
The Hartford Courant reports that Ollie’s lawyers are demanding a retraction be made regarding documents released last week in reports that the the probe into Ollie’s dismissal from Connecticut was justified and based purely on recruiting violations he committed.
In a letter to UConn president Susan Herbst, Ollie’s lawyers contend that in releasing transcripts of interviews relating to the NCAA investigation, the school violated Freedom of Information Act laws that should protect him from false claims. The documents reportedly included a transcript of an interview in which former associate head coach Glen Miller said that Ollie arranged for a $30,000 payment to be delivered to the mother of a player to help her relocate to Connecticut. Ollie’s camp argues that the charge was not included anywhere else in the 1,355 pages of documents released in the case, nor was it included in UConn’s reasons for firing him.
“[UConn] widely published defamatory information concerning coach Kevin Ollie when it provided un-redacted copies of confidential NCAA interview transcripts to news reporters pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request,” read the letter from Ollie’s lawyers, Madsen, Prestley and Parenteau, to Herbst, “ One of the … transcripts contained [Miller’s] false claim. … The false and defamatory claim was released without prior notice to coach Ollie and no attempt was made by the University of Connecticut to protect Coach Ollie from this false and defamatory claim, or to disavow it.”
Ollie is reportedly owed over $10 million on his contract, a sum which he will be awarded in full should the university be unable to prove that his dismissal was justified.