Connecticut ethics office rules UConn's Edsall violated nepotism laws

The ethics office for the state of Connecticut has ruled that UConn and head coach Randy Edsall violated state nepotism laws when he hired his son to be the tight ends coach for the Huskies, according to Josh Kovner of The Hartford Courant.

Because of the proximity to the beginning of the college football season, however, the ethics board is recommending that no action be taken against the school, and that Corey Edsall continue to be allowed to coach with the Huskies so long as his one-year contract is not renewed.

UConn “respectfully disagrees” with the ruling, according to a statement from university spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz. Reitz argues nepotism does not apply because Corey would be supervised by someone other than his father and because Randy was not a state employee at the time he became involved with his son’s contract details.

The school contends that despite being announced as head coach on Dec. 28, Randy was not officially a state employee until Jan. 3, his first official day of work. According to Kovner, Beth Goetz, COO for the UConn Athletic Department emailed the head coach on Jan. 1 asking him for information regarding his son’s contract for an offer letter.

Edsall then responded to Goetz, saying, “Corey will start on Monday, January 9th and I would like to pay him $100,000.00.”

Because the ethics office deemed UConn’s offer to Randy to be presented and accepted on Dec. 28, its draft opinion ruled Randy was in fact an employee retroactive to that date and not Jan. 3 – making him a state employee prior to his communication with Goetz.

“What the code forbids is a state employee using (his or her) employment for the financial benefit of a family member,” UConn’s statement says. “In this case, employment and financial decisions regarding Corey Edsall – and Corey Edsall’s supervisor – are in the hands of the Athletic Director, not Coach Edsall. By establishing this management plan, the university is in compliance with the code of ethics.”

The ethics office clearly doesn’t see the issue on the same terms as the university, maintaining that personnel decisions ultimately lie with the head coach, not athletic director.

“UConn’s assertion that its Head Football Coach will refrain from supervising (and evaluating) not just the tight ends coach, but also his offensive coordinator is, to quote a former Supreme Court Justice, ‘so absurd as to be self-refuting,'” the opinion states.

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Source: The Score

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