UConn Racks Up Big Legal Bills to Defend Hoops Program

Tuesday, May 11, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM EDT
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UConn has requested more than double the funds from the state to defend the men's basketball team in an ongoing NCAA investigation.

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UConn has asked state officials to more than double the amount it will pay an out-of-state law firm to defend the school against an ongoing NCAA investigation into the men's basketball program.

The Hartford Courant reports that, the state Office of Policy and Management has agreed to allow UConn to spend an additional $375,000 to pay Bond, Schoeneck & King of Kansas City.

The state comptroller pays the bills and UConn reimburses the attorney general's office, Michael Enright, a spokesman for the UConn athletic department, told the Courant. No taxpayer money or student tuition money is involved, he told the newspaper.

The original contract with the law firm called for a three-year contract capped at $300,000, but state records show that UConn spent more than that between April 2009 and April 2010 alone -- $338,000 in legal bills were paid.

The bill is only going to get larger as the NCAA investigation into the school's recruitment of Nate Miles and the program's ties to former UConn team manager-turned-agent Josh Nochimson continues.

"At this time, the investigation is ongoing, with interviews of relevant persons continuing, and with the ongoing provision of information and responses to NCAA questions," UConn's chief financial officer, Paul McDowell, wrote in an e-mail to OPM officials questioning the additional funding.

Enright said the athletic department would not comment on who the "relevant" people are and whether the NCAA has interviewed them.

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