Former Connecticut men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie has filed a complaint against the university in federal court, alleging it illegally attempted to stop him from filing a racial discrimination claim stemming from his firing in March.
The complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hartford, claims Ollie was subject to "disparate treatment" compared with his predecessor and former coach Jim Calhoun.
Ollie alleges that Calhoun, the Hall of Fame coach who won three national titles at UConn, managed to keep his job despite committing NCAA violations more serious than those Ollie was accused of and that were used to justify his firing last spring.
"Calhoun … was found to have engaged in conduct in violation of NCAA rules and regulations following an investigation conducted by the NCAA and Defendant in 2011 and 2012 that was more severe than the conduct which Defendant has identified as the basis for its decision to terminate Plaintiff's employment, but Defendant never terminated the employment of Jim Calhoun," reads the complaint.
"As UConn has stated from the outset, the university terminated Kevin Ollie's employment due to violations of NCAA rules, pursuant to his employment agreement," university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said in an email. "Any claim to the contrary is without merit."