Monday, September 23, 2013

DUI Charges Against Tyler Olander Dropped

Tyler Olander pleaded guilty to operating without a license Monday morning at Rockville Superior Court, but the more serious charge of driving under the influence of alcohol was dropped.

Olander was arrested on Sept. 7 on Route 195 in Mansfield, just north of North Eagleville Road, after a police officer witnessed Olander's vehicle making "several jerky steering maneuvers within the lane of travel," according to state attorney Cynthia Baer.

Olander failed a field sobriety test, according to a police report, but subsequently took two breath tests and was under the legal limit of .08 both times.

"The science was on our side," said Olander's attorney, Rob Britt. "We're happy the state reviewed the science in the matter, because we believed it was on our side."

Olander does not have a driver's license, however, so he paid a $75 fine for operating without a license on Monday. He had been indefinitely suspended from the UConn men's basketball team after the incident, and now hopes he'll be able to rejoin the team.

"That's my goal, and God willing, I'll be back," he said. "I hope people don't see these past incidents as a reflection of who I am. I hope they see me as a good kid that just made some mistakes, as everybody does."

Olander was at a special tribute to Jim Calhoun at Gampel Pavilion on Sunday night, seated at a dinner table with his fellow teammates.

Speaking of the Calhoun tribute, it really was a nice ceremony. Every ex-player who went up to talk about Calhoun (Ray Allen, Rudy Gay, Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Kemba Walker, Kevin Ollie, Glen Miller, Kevin Freeman, Donny Marshall, A.J. Price ... everyone) spoke eloquently. Really, everyone was better than I expected.

Baseball coach Jim Penders delivered a terrific speech (as a last-minute replacement). Only complaint for me was that, as well as everyone spoke, they were all too long! How long? Festivities ran about two hours past schedule. Or put it this way: Calhoun's speech at the end of the night was one of the shortest.

As great a night as it was, and as much as a testament it was to the truly remarkable bond that unites just about all UConn basketball players and coaches, past and present, it's impossible to ignore the very public rift in the UConn hoops family currently going on in the Tate George case.

Meanwhile, here's a Connecticut magazine feature piece on Kevin Ollie.

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