Ollie to contest UConn firing for 'just cause'

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Head coach Kevin Ollie of the Connecticut Huskies looks on from the bench during the game against the Syracuse Orange during the Tire Pros Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 5, 2016 in New York City.
Mike Stobe / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Kevin Ollie isn't going to go down without a fight.

The 45-year-old announced less than 24 hours after being fired from his role as head coach at UConn that he plans to contest the university's decision to dismiss him for "just cause," according to Myron Medcalf of ESPN.

Ollie released a statement in which he makes his plans known and defends his conduct while serving as head coach of the men's basketball team:

The University of Connecticut, which has been my home and my family since I was 18 years of age, has decided to initiate the procedures to terminate my employment for cause, which I am contesting. As the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies, which is one of the greatest honors and privileges of my life, I have always diligently promoted an atmosphere of compliance for all involved in the program, directly or indirectly. It has always been my creed to conduct myself in a manner that reflects positively on the university, my program and my family. My objective throughout my eight-year tenure has been to nurture and develop young men to be productive citizens, positive role models and active community leaders. I am confident that I have strived to model behaviors which are consistent with this objective. This process has just begun, and I intend to work vigorously to defend my honor and my integrity, and to defend my good name to the fullest extent provided under the law, the university grievance procedures and the NCAA compliance process.

Ollie is a member of University of Connecticut's branch of the American Association of University Professors, meaning he is one of few college basketball coaches to have union protection, according to Medcalf, citing sources close to the situation. Michael Bailey, the executive director of the AAUP's Connecticut branch, stated Saturday that UConn must prove "serious misconduct beyond the preponderance of evidence" to successfully terminate Ollie with cause.

Ollie's contract with UConn states he is entitled to a hearing to defend himself within 15 days, according to Medcalf.