UConn Coaches Forced to Boycott Final Four over Religious Freedom Law

AP Photo
The Associated Press

The University of Connecticut men’s basketball head coach Kevin Ollie, who went from winning the final game of last year’s NCAA tournament to losing in the opening round of the NIT, boycotts the Final Four in Indianapolis this weekend.

In an announcement, University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst said that the coaching staff would not fly out to the Final Four this year. UConn’s Herbst claims that the governor’s travel ban prevents the school from participation in the Final Four.

“In support of Governor [Dannel] Malloy’s travel ban to the state of Indiana,” Herbest said (Via a Tweet from reporter Paul Doyle), “Kevin Ollie and other members of the UConn men’s basketball staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four and events surrounding it. UConn is a community that values all our members and treats each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of their background and beliefs and we will not tolerate any other behavior.”

Connecticut’s Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal agreed with the reaction to Indiana.

“I wouldn’t presume to give advice but if I were in their shoes I would stay away,” Blumenthal said. “I think they can send a very powerful message as all of us can.”

The UConn staff isn’t alone in their reaction to Indiana’s law. UConn joins USC athletic director Pat Haden who also announced that he was boycotting Indiana over the religious freedom law after the controversy erupted early this week.

Connecticut enacted its own Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com