A draft opinion from a state panel takes issue with the way UConn head football coach Randy Edsall hired his son as an assistant.
The Office of State Ethics, in a draft advisory opinion, says Corey Edsall should only remain with the program until his one year contract expires in January.
The office looked into the matter because under Connecticut law, state employees who are family members can work in the same department, but there are restrictions if one supervises the other.
Corey Edsall, who was hired at a tight ends coach in January, has a contract that runs from Jan. 9, 2017 to Jan. 14, 2018 and his salary is $95,000.
The Office of State Ethics will not comment, except to say the full board will likely decide to accept, reject, or modify the draft advisory opinion at its meeting next week.
UConn released a statement on the matter. Folliowing is the full statement from UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.
"Randy Edsall was not a state employee when his contract was being negotiated or when he received his offer letter. He did not become a state employee until he performed work for which he was entitled to be paid. The offer letter makes clear that date was Jan. 3, 2017.
"Individuals hired by the state do not become state employees when they accept an offer of employment; they become state employees when they actually begin their jobs at the state. For example, if someone accepts an offer of state employment, but will not start their state job for six weeks, the code of ethics does not apply to them during that six-week period. It applies when they begin working for the state. This is a well-established precedent in Connecticut which has been understood and applied in cases for decades.
"In fact, 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.
"In this instance, the advisory board is attempting to hold Coach Edsall and the university to a different standard than others are held to, which defies longstanding Connecticut precedent. An irrelevant case from Michigan is cited in the board’s opinion, rather than Connecticut law.
"The code of ethics does not forbid family members working in the same state departments, offices, or units as a family member who is a state employee. What the code of ethics forbids is a state employee using their employment for the financial benefit of a family member. 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.
"UConn respectfully disagrees with the board’s opinion, which seeks to apply a different standard in this case than has been applied in other cases in Connecticut for nearly 30 years."