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It wasn’t that long ago that the University of Connecticut dominated men’s college basketball. They made it to multiple elite eights since 2000 under the leadership of Jim Calhoun. However, since his departure from the university, UConn has not seen the same success under his successor, Kevin Ollie. With the recent investigation into the program, one question has often come up: what is coach Ollie’s future with the program? Athletic director David Benedict came out on Tuesday and addressed the issue saying that he will evaluate Ollie’s future at UConn after the season.
The problem with Ollie is that given UConn’s prestige in the college basketball ranks, does he have enough credibility and enough leverage to survive an investigation? Since taking over the Huskies, he has 124 wins (56 in conference) and 72 losses (43 in conference) with two NCAA tournament appearances. Not counting the year they were ineligible for tournament due to sanctions against the team, they’ve missed “the big dance” the same amount of times as they’ve made it. While a .633 winning percentage (.566 in conference) is nice, considering the shoes he had fill in Jim Calhoun, he hasn’t lived up to the hype.
The other major problem that’s plagued the UConn basketball program has been violations in terms of recruiting. The Huskies missed the tournament in Kevin Ollie’s first season because of sanctions that barred them from postseason play. While this was more of Calhoun’s fault, it doesn’t help that five years later his squad is being investigated again. If the team misses the tournament for a second straight year, the investigation would be the cherry on top to end what could be the most promising coaching career that didn’t work out.
While an answer won’t be given until the end of the season it’s clear to say that Kevin Ollie is coaching for his future now. If he can somehow turn UConn around then he may remain. If not there’s a good chance that Benedict will move on. Only time will tell but it could lead to the revitalization of the program in the near future.