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UConn and Father-and-Son Football Coaches Appeal Ethics Decision

by | Sep 5, 2017 10:30am
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Posted to: Ethics, Sports

ASPEN PHOTO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Randy Edsall, shown during his stint as head coach for the Maryland Terrapins in September 2015 in Morgantown, WV.

HARTFORD, CT — The University of Connecticut, the school’s head football coach, Randy Edsall, and Edsall’s son, Corey, are appealing a decision by the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, which concluded that Edsall violated state ethics laws by negotiating a deal to allow his son to be hired as an assistant coach.

In separate lawsuits filed last week in New Britain Superior Court, the Edsalls and UConn claim the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board reached the wrong conclusion when the board found that Randy Edsall was a state employee at the time his 24-year-old son was hired.

The Edsalls and the university are appealing the board’s July decision to Superior Court.

In July, the board concluded there’s no way to come up with a management plan to avoid Randy Edsall’s supervision of his son since Edsall would still supervise the offensive coordinator. There’s also no way to avoid having Edsall supervise the other assistant coaches who compete with his son for benefits. However, the board decided that it would refrain from prosecuting the ethics complaint against Randy Edsall as long as Corey’s $95,000 contract was not renewed at the end of the year.

In their lawsuit against the board, the Edsalls’ attorney says the decision “affects Mr. Edsall’s ability to operate UConn’s football team,” and “inhibits” Corey Edsall’s “ability to perform his job as an Assistant Football Coach.”

“Mr. Edsall acted in good faith and with reasonable reliance on the State when, prior to his hiring, he requested that his son be offered a position at UConn,” the Edsall’s complaint states. “At no time during his negotiations for the position of Head Football Coach did Mr. Edsall seek to obscure or hide the fact that he was seeking employment for his son, Corey Edsall, at UConn.”

The Edsalls, through their attorney Louis George of Hassett and George, said since Randy Edsall’s January 3 start date he’s had “no conversations, negotiations, or performed any other kind of actions that would result in a financial gain or loss to Corey Edsall.”

The Office of State Ethics declined comment on the lawsuits saying through a spokesperson that it does not comment on pending litigation.

UConn, in its own lawsuit against the Office of State Ethics, decided any action that would affect the financial interests of Corey Edsall would be made by the chief operating officer in the Division of Athletics and Sport Administrator, and not by Randy Edsall.

The university argues that the decision misconstrued evidence regarding Randy Edsall’s official start date. They said that he wasn’t a state employee at the time he was negotiating a job for his son.

The university says the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board considered evidence “that was unreliable hearsay and opinion evidence contained in newspaper articles about various other football coaches.”

And the university said that the decision “impacts UConn’s ability to recruit future employees, who accept offers of employment but do not commence employment until a future date, a common practice in a University setting for faculty.”

The university is represented by Assistant Attorney General Kerry Anne Colson.

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