Attorney defends Glen Miller's role in NCAA investigation

Glen Miller's revealing testimony regarding former UConn coach Kevin Ollie's alleged NCAA violations has thrust him into the spotlight, an uncomfortable position for the Groton native.

It also has made Miller a target for criticism.

Jacques Parenteau, Ollie's lawyer, called Miller a "biased witness" and "not credible" in a statement to the Associated Press.

Dado Coric, Miller's attorney, believes the statement is unfair and inaccurate.

"That's bull," Coric said. "You start making statements like that so far from the truth, it seems something needs to be said about that. It's just not right. You get the feeling people are viewing Glen in the wrong light. It's just not right.

"Glen wasn't called by the NCAA about anything that he's done. It was Kevin Ollie that put everyone in  this uncomfortable position. For anyone to besmirch Glen for doing the right thing and then defend Kevin Ollie for doing the wrong thing, that's wholly inappropriate and the furthest thing from the truth."

Coric reached out to The Day to discuss Miller's role in the NCAA matter. Miller, through Coric, declined to comment.

UConn released a 1,355 page report last week to media outlets detailing its case against Ollie, who is accused of committing NCAA violations that focus on improper contact with recruits, including Ray Allen speaking to a prospect over the phone, and players receiving outside training sessions.

UConn's contract battle with Ollie, who was fired in March for just cause, is headed to arbitration.

Miller, along with several UConn players and assistant coaches, were interviewed by the NCAA as part of its ongoing investigation. He served two different stints covering 14 years on the coaching staff at UConn, first as an assistant under Jim Calhoun and then as Ollie's associate head coach for five years before being fired in March 2017.

Coric pointed out that Miller had a squeaky clean record in his 17 years as a head coach at three stops — Connecticut College, Brown and Penn.

Soon after his firing, Miller was contacted by the UConn compliance department about some NCAA issues.

"Glen answered all their questions and was truthful," Coric said. "Sometime after that he got a call from the NCAA and they wanted to interview him. He had no problem with that because he has not committed any violations."

Two NCAA officials from the enforcement office met with Miller last Nov. 16 at Coric's law office in New London. Annie Fiorvanti, associate athletic director for compliance, and attorney Brian Kappel represented UConn.

In the lengthy interview, Miller answered questions on a variety of topics, including recruiting, his fellow assistant coaches, and Ollie's coaching practices.

"Glen was a very reluctant witness," Coric said. "But he works in the NCAA system and he doesn't want to have problems, so he's going to tell the truth, especially in a situation like that. Morally, it's the right thing to do and legally it's the right thing to do.

"So this wasn't anything that he orchestrated in any way. He never called anybody. ... He obviously was very conflicted throughout this whole process. If you were there in the room when he was giving his statements, you could see that it hurt him to have to talk about these things."

Coric said Miller was aware of some violations but not others.

Miller was reluctant to report some violations in fear of possibly losing his job, according to Coric.

"Glen didn't see those things as rising to the level where he needed to report those," Coric said. "The position you find yourself in when you're an associate head coach and you see those technical violations, you're put in a quandary, 'Okay, if I report those things and become a whistle blower, I'm probably going to get fired because I've got a year to year contract and will never work again.'

"... I think that went into Glen's thinking why not to report these things. Clearly, if Glen had any knowledge that Kevin was paying players or doing stuff like that, he would have gone to UConn with that and let UConn decide what to do with it. But that wasn't the case."

During his interview with the NCAA, Miller told an unsubstantiated story about a player's mother allegedly receiving $30,000 in cash from Ollie to pay for her move to Connecticut. The information came from Miller's wife, Yvonne, who waited to tell her husband about it until after he was fired because she feared that he would get into trouble, according to Coric.

"She's very friendly and open," Coric said about Yvonne. "A player's mother made friends with her. At some point, she volunteered that information to Yvonne. She said what a nice guy Kevin was for helping her."

The NCAA interviewed Yvonne earlier this year about the matter, Coric said.

g.keefe@theday.com

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