Nearly a year after Susquehannock High School graduate Randy Edsall signed an offer letter from UConn that stated the general terms of his employment, the football coach continues to work without a formal, signed contract.
A full season gone by, Edsall has handled the day-to-day operations of the program like any coach would and been paid his $1 million salary. The initial offer letter stated that both sides should finalize a contract within 60 days of his Jan. 3 hiring, but that has not happened.
The holdup, sources say, has mostly to do with Edsall’s ongoing lawsuit against the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, which has ruled that the employment of Edsall’s son, assistant coach Corey Edsall, violates state ethics laws.
Reached Friday afternoon, Edsall said of his contract status, “I have a letter of agreement with the university that is binding.”
While the case plays out in court, the Edsalls have filed a motion for a stay of the Board’s conclusion that stated Corey Edsall’s contract should not be renewed. If granted, that means the situation would remain status quo until a judge rules on the matter.
Breach of contract? Corey Edsall, like many Division I assistant coaches, received a one-year contract. Randy Edsall, who has agreed in principle to a five-year deal, hopes to retain his son on the coaching staff going forward, but it would require another contract for Corey. If a stay is not granted, a contract cannot be offered and that could be an issue, the Edsalls argued in a court document filed by their attorney Friday.
“Without an assistant football coaching contract for Corey, UConn is forced to breach its agreement with Mr. Edsall, and Mr. Edsall is no longer bound to remain the head football coach at UConn,” Friday’s filing reads. “The loss of Corey and, potentially, Mr. Edsall is certainly an irreparable harm to UConn.”
In a statement issued to The Courant Friday afternoon, UConn said, “We will not speculate on hypotheticals.”
Also, sources say, Edsall is not satisfied with some unrelated language in the contract presented to him, and he has been advised not to sign it by the UConn chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
The situation with Corey Edsall, UConn’s tight ends coach, is the more central problem. Randy Edsall, sources say, has no intention of signing a contract until the issued resolved.
“There are circumstances as it relates to Coach Edsall’s contract that remain unresolved,” UConn said. “Until the matter reaches a conclusion, we are comfortable continuing to operate under the memo of understanding (MOU) agreement we have in place.”
The board’s opinion and order, issued in July, stated that Corey Edsall should be allowed to work his one-year contact so long as he does not sign another.
In court Tuesday: The parties are due in court in New Britain Tuesday, and Randy Edsall is expected to testify.
The argument has largely been over Randy Edsall’s effective hiring date. Officially, it was Jan. 3, but he was introduced on Dec. 28 (when the offer letter was signed) and the Board contends that he was functioning in his position as a state employee and negotiating on a family member’s behalf, violating nepotism laws.
The ability to work with Corey, sources say, is a major reason Edsall returned to coach the Huskies.
The offer letter states that UConn agreed to hire Corey Edsall and lays out policies to prevent a conflict of interest.
In the time since, Edsall led UConn through spring practice, continued to recruit and fund raise, and he eventually coached a three-month, 12-game season that ended Nov. 25 at Cincinnati.
The Huskies were 3-9 in 2017 under Edsall, 59, also the team's coach in 1999-2010.
Corey Edsall’s hiring was officially announced in January. He has signed a one-year, $95,000 contract. Corey, 25, previously spent two years at Colorado, as an intern and graduate assistant.
Stressing Corey Edsall's value: Friday’s 16-page filing goes to great lengths in stress Corey Edsall’s value to the UConn football program and the damage his departure would cause.
Corey Edsall, the filing states, “plays an essential role in recruiting and strengthening UConn’s football program. New recruits choose to come to UConn because of the relationship of trust formed with Corey. The timing of recruitment (which is now) and the upcoming end of Corey’s contract with UConn coincide, and the restriction against his contract renewal is a clear harm to not only Corey, but also Mr. Edsall and UConn.”