University of Hawaii men’s basketball head coach Gib Arnold and assistant coach Brandyn Akana have been relieved of coaching duty and are departing employment from the University of Hawaii.
The announcement was made Tuesday by UH Manoa chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman and athletics director Ben Jay.
Arnold opted not to comment when approached by KHON2 Tuesday.
In January, the university self-reported a violation to the NCAA. Sources say Akana submitted an altered document that was to be used for admission purposes. He was suspended for 30 days and the NCAA probe began in March.
Although reports say the probe has been completed, the school has not received a notice of any discovered allegations.
In a statement released Tuesday, Jay said, “These painful but critical steps are being taken in an effort to strengthen our athletics program and to do right by our student athletes and students in general.”
Associate coach Benjy Taylor will serve as interim head coach for the time being.
“We have a lot of unanswered questions. First off, I’d like to say that it was working here for Coach Arnold. We haven’t had a losing season here. He’s a friend and Coach Akana is a friend,” Taylor told KHON2. “We’ll figure out a way to pull our boot straps up and get some things done. It’s going to be tough, but this is a tough group and Coach Arnold has taught us how to be tough. We’re certainly tough now.”
Pursuant to his contract, Arnold will be employed through Jan. 26, 2015, and will be paid a lump sum payment of $344,000 for the remainder of his contract term, set to expire June 30, 2015.
Akana will also be employed through Jan. 26, in accordance with his contract. He will not be entitled to any additional compensation.
“These painful but critical steps are being taken in an effort to strengthen our athletics program and to do right by our student athletes and students in general,” said Jay in making the announcement to Athletics Department employees. “We appreciate the work of Gib and Brandyn and wish them both the best in the future.”
Chancellor Bley-Vroman said, “We are committed to setting the best possible examples for our players not only on the field of sports but in life. Athletics Director Jay has my full support in these steps that will strengthen the long-term future of our athletics program and our university.”
In a statement, the university said president David Lassner and Board of Regents leadership have been informed of these actions and stand behind the athletics director and chancellor as they make these difficult decisions.
Former head coach Riley Wallace told KHON2 he would be open to returning if the university wanted him. He currently resides in Las Vegas.
Stay with KHON2.com for updates and watch KHON2 News at 5 and 6 p.m. for the full story.