The legal process has officially gotten underway in the dispute between the University of Connecticut and former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie.
The Associated Press reports that Ollie’s legal team is pursuing motions in both state and federal court as the case unfolds.
On Friday, federal Judge Kari Dooley heard arguments over a motion that would allow Ollie to proceed in his racial discrimination case against the university without jeopardizing his right to an arbitration hearing. Meanwhile, Ollie’s lawyers filed a motion with the state’s Superior Court seeking an order allowing for out-of-state witnesses to be deposed in the arbitration case.
Ollie was fired by UConn following a 14-18 season. UConn cited NCAA recruiting violations, and claimed it had fired Ollie “for cause,” meaning it wouldn’t have to pay the coach the remaining $10 million on his contract. Ollie, in response, sought an internal grievance, which led to the arbitration case.
The federal case centers on Ollie’s right to file a discrimination complaint before either the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ollie, a black man, plans to argue that he was treated differently than his predecessor Jim Calhoun, who is white, and wasn’t fired after being penalized for recruiting violations.
Neither the state or federal motions were decided as of yet, but the AP reports that the arbitration process could go on for months, barring a settlement, if out-of-state witnesses are allowed to be deposed.