The UConn men’s basketball team now has more to worry about than another mediocre season on the court.
The school confirmed Friday that it is the target of an NCAA investigation into its men’s hoops program. The New Haven Register has cited two unnamed sources who said part of the inquiry involves the recruiting practices under head coach Kevin Ollie.
UConn President Susan Herbst said the school is committed to “a culture of compliance” and intends to cooperate in a “thorough and transparent manner” after the NCAA notified it of the investigation on Thursday.
“We are working closely with the NCAA enforcement division,” UConn said in a statement.
The university said it had already been conducting an internal investigation after being hit with allegations last fall and retaining a law firm that specializes in athletics compliance. UConn, however, did not reveal the nature of the allegations.
According to the Register, the investigation is not linked to the ongoing FBI bribery probe in which four NCAA Division I basketball coaches, a top Adidas executive and five others were arrested in September. The scandal has led to the firings of Louisville coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.
Kevin Ollie’s Huskies program is under an NCAA investigation.
A UConn source also told the paper that the FBI has not contacted the school.
The Huskies are 11-9 this season after going 16-17 last year, which was the team’s first losing season in three decades. Ollie is in the second year of a five-year, $ 17.9 million deal which, like Louisville’s contract with Pitino, can be voided for “just cause.”
Ollie helmed UConn to a national championship during the 2013-14 season.
The program was previously cited for eight violations in 2010 when NCAA investigators revealed “hundreds of improper calls and texts from UConn staff to recruits” during Jim Calhoun’s coaching tenure, according to the Associated Press. As a result, UConn imposed its own sanctions in addition to penalties from the NCAA.
With News Wire Services