State lawyers: UConn football hire violates nepotism policy
By PAT EATON-ROBB
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut ethics lawyers say the University of Connecticut violated the state's ban on nepotism by hiring football coach Randy Edsall's son as an assistant coach, but say Corey Edsall can serve out his contract.
In a draft recommendation to the State Office Of Ethics enforcement board, the lawyers recommend no action be taken against UConn if Corey Edsall's one-year, $95,000 contract to coach the team's tight ends is not renewed.
The draft opinion recognizes the "potential disruption" to UConn's football program if the younger Edsall is barred from coaching this year.
It also notes that "UConn and the Edsalls, based on UConn's differing interpretation of the Code of Ethics, in good faith entered into binding contracts and therefore have contractual obligations."
The ethics board had been looking into whether it was legally permissible for the elder Edsall to negotiate a job for his son.
UConn said it disagrees with the proposed ruling, arguing that because Corey Edsall's deal was negotiated two days before his father officially started work at UConn on Jan. 3, there was no ethics violation.
"The Office of State Ethics confirmed for UConn before Randy Edsall was offered employment that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit a candidate from negotiating employment for a family member as a condition of their own employment," said Stephanie Reitz, UConn's spokeswoman.
The draft ruling says that for ethics purposes, Randy Edsall became a state employee on Dec. 28, 2016, the date he and UConn executed a "binding and enforceable employment contract."
The elder Edsall is in his second stint as UConn's football coach. He replaced Bob Diaco who was fired after going 11-26 in three seasons.
Randy Edsall also coached at UConn from 1999 through the 2010 season, going 74-70 and winning the Big East titles in 2007 and 2010 and taking the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl in his final season.
The enforcement board is scheduled to vote on the proposed ruling on July 20.
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Updated July 14, 2017