The Hartford Courant published an interesting piece today noting that the Connecticut state ethics office have found that UConn violated state nepotism laws by allowing Randy Edsall to hire his son Corey to coach the tight ends, and the fact that Randy, as head coach of the program, helped to negotiate a contract for his son.
As a result, lawyers for the ethics board are recommending that the ethics board take no immediate action against UConn or Randy Edsall, and that Corey be allowed to coach this fall, as long as his one-year contract is not renewed. That recommendation is being presented at the group’s meeting July 20th, according to the article. Corey is set to make $95,000 this fall coaching the tight ends.
Taking a quick look at the USA Today database of assistant coaches salaries from 2016, that $95,000 salary would rank Corey right around the 800th out of the 963 coaches they have salary information on. Corey’s compensation, position, and experience would be right in line with other coaches in that pay range.
UConn argued that Edsall’s official appointment came after the negotiation on Corey’s contract, but the state ethics board argued that was a mere formality in the big picture and giving that argument merit would open the door in future cases.
Prior to joining his father’s staff at UConn in January, Corey spent two seasons at Colorado, first as an intern, and then as a graduate assistant working with the defense. Corey was part of the program’s turn around, with the Buffs going 10-4 with an appearance in the Pac-12 title game. Before that, Corey also interned for two summers as a scouting intern in the NFL, first with the Patriots in 2013, and then with the Eagles in 2014.
As a player, Corey started off playing quarterback at Syracuse before transferring to Maryland, where he served as a student assistant on his father’s staff for three seasons on the offensive side of the ball.
I think we can all understand, and (at least in a sense) appreciate why the law was formed in the first place, which was to prevent a person holding a state job from giving someone of their relation a job that they’re not qualified for, but this isn’t that. While there may have been better candidates on paper as far as experience, Corey wasn’t just handed the job fresh out of college. As many coaches do, he worked as an intern and graduate assistant before eventually getting an chance to work with his father – an opportunity that they likely both dreamed of for years.
But the state ethics board is putting a one-year clock on that dream.
In this instance, to say that you can’t hire someone because he’s your own blood is, in my opinion, incredibly short-sighted, and is clearly not in the spirit of why the law was put into action in the first place.
Head over to the Hartford Courant to read more, including more on the stances of UConn, Randy Edsall, and the state ethics board.