Could the University of Hawaii’s latest move, firing men’s basketball head coach Gib Arnold, cost the school more in the long run?
UH will pay Arnold $344,000 for the final year of his contract, which was set to expire in June 2015. He will remain officially employed until Jan. 26, but will not be coaching.
It’s another six-figure payout for the University of Hawaii, one that the UH Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman said was made “in the best interests of the athletics program and the school.”
In January, the university self-reported a violation to the NCAA. Sources say assistant coach Brandyn Akana submitted an altered document that was to be used for admission purposes. Arnold and Akana were relieved of coaching duties “without cause.”
J.N. Musto, executive director of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, is familiar with contracts and how they and the university work. He says it’s a tragedy for the university to go through another personnel situation.
“However, if they did have cause to terminate his contract, then one would have assumed they would have taken it, or they wouldn’t have released him as coach in the first place,” he said.
Arnold’s payout is the latest that’s hitting the university’s pocketbook. Here’s a look at more in recent years:
Three months ago, UH announced a $100,000 payout to former Chancellor Tom Apple.
Two years ago, the school lost $200,000, after the Stevie Wonder concert scam.
In December of 2011, former football coach Greg McMackin resigned and accepted a $600,000 buyout.
The school also paid former basketball coach Bob Nash $240,000, and former athletics director Herman Frazier more than $312,000.
These events cost the school nearly $1.8 million.
“Even if they are not really related, in the public eye and certainly in the eye of the legislature, it calls into question the ability of the university to garner more public support, more public financial resources and that is really a shame,” Musto said.
He also says this latest contract buyout could put the athletic program into question, what it costs and whether it’s sustainable.