Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 54 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

UH officials put Donovan, Sheriff on indefinite leave of absence

By Star-Advertiser staff


University of Hawaii officials have placed athletic director Jim Donovan and Sheriff Center manager Rich Sheriff on an indefinite paid administrative leave while an investigation of the canceled Stevie Wonder concert takes place.

UH vice president Rockne Freitas, a former UH assistant athletic director in the 1980s, was named acting athletic director until the investigation is complete, UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple said at a news conference this afternoon.

Apple said the school has contacted the FBI about the missing money from the concert fiasco.

UH said it put down a $200,000 deposit from athletic department funds on the planned Aug. 18 concert. The event was to have been a benefit for UH athletics.

It was cancelled Tuesday after UH said it learned that the event was planned without Wonder's knowledge.

The investigation will be done by an experienced, outside party, Apple said.

Apple briefed UH coaches and athletiic department staffers prior to the press conference.

"I'm very pleased to have the confidence of President Greenwood and Chancellor Apple," Freitas said.

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and leading members of the administration met in Bachman Hall this afternoon to discuss the fallout.

Donovan announced Tuesday that the planned Aug. 18 benefit concert at the arena was canceled after school officials said the show had been planned without Wonder's knowledge. He said the UH was trying to recover the $200,000 it paid from the athletic fund to book the show. When asked if the UH had been scammed, Donovan said, "I couldn't speculate."

An athletic department spokesman declined comment and administration spokespeople have not been responded to emails and phone calls today.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 54 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
drgtherocker wrote:
Blood in the water...the sharks are gathering. "Fate of Jim Donovan"? When did that become the discussion? Who started it? I can hear the knives being sharpened. Agreed, UH needs to get a PR grip, after this 'phony' concert, 3 UH Football Player DUIs, what is going on? Sharkfest 2012, green and white style.
on July 11,2012 | 03:54PM
kainalu wrote:
Green and white .... more like black and silver, eh?
on July 11,2012 | 05:05PM
joewilly wrote:
Donovan is in over his head. Stick to sports. Stay out of the entertainment business. It's crawling with sharks. What was wrong with Tom Moffit? His reputation is solid. Anyway, somebody got to answer for the 200 thousand. You said you the captain of the ship. Well, the ship just sank, with you. Fired!!!
on July 11,2012 | 04:00PM
dlum003 wrote:
Jim Donovan is a good man, Greenwood just looking for scapegoat. The bigger scam is her bloated salary and Henshaw's golden parachute. I dont trust either them as far as their noontime shadows fall.
on July 11,2012 | 04:19PM
zhawaii wrote:
I, for one, feel bad for Jim Donovan. He has done good things for the athletic department. Landing our football program in the MWC in a time of desperation and then landing Norm Chow took a lot of work. Also, bringing back a marquee basketball tournament after the Rainbow Classic turned into a tournament of so-so teams helps keep Hawaii as a basketball venue relevant. I hope he can be kept on as AD.
on July 11,2012 | 04:23PM
braddah wrote:
I agree with you Z! He made a mistake, but seriously...who's gonna take his place? I think he's the best man for the job. Or are we gonna fire him, then get another Herman Frazier????
on July 11,2012 | 05:08PM
2_centz wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 11,2012 | 06:43PM
false wrote:
False2: Obviously you are coming from a position of ignorance, Frazier was a disgrace.
on July 11,2012 | 09:11PM
aaronavilla wrote:
Rockne Freitas and MRC Greenwood were the point people for the MWC negotiations. Also, Jim Donovan would have hired Dirk Koetter and not Norm Chow if he had gotten his way.
on July 11,2012 | 06:01PM
false wrote:
False2: Be careful on what you get with Rockne. Been there done that!
on July 11,2012 | 09:12PM
Dragonman wrote:
I will wait until the investigation is over and all the facts are made public before I call for JD's head. I would also like to hear from JD as to what really happened. We all know he was under a lot of pressure to balance the athletic budget and is thinking ouside the box so bad ? Lets wait for the facts to come out before we lynch him.
on July 11,2012 | 07:58PM
csdhawaii wrote:
Donovan wasn't the instrumental person in either Mountain West or Norm Chow. It was Greenwood and Freitas.
on July 11,2012 | 10:28PM
Wonderful_World wrote:
Another contract buyout? Seems to be a pattern w/this school.
on July 11,2012 | 04:24PM
bobbob wrote:
head. roll. They'd be extremely lucky to get any of the money back if it's a scam. It's prboably all in a different country by now.
on July 11,2012 | 04:33PM
FluidMotion wrote:
I bet it's paid leave. I wonder how much the U of H is currently paying employees who are on "leave".
on July 11,2012 | 04:35PM
false wrote:
False2: Most government jobs have this policy.
on July 11,2012 | 09:12PM
username_required wrote:
Identical photos from Dave Reardon's article this AM. Except in this one, JD's face appears to have turned red. Anyway, he doesn't deserve to be sacked based on what little info we have. The $200k is not vapor... yet. He was just trying to improve the UHAD bottom line. Maybe if the City and County of Honolulu would loosen the grips of their non-compete agreement, the UHAD would be more savvy about such things.
on July 11,2012 | 04:37PM
braddah wrote:
I agree with you!
on July 11,2012 | 05:09PM
PCWarrior wrote:
The money is gone son. That's the point of the scam,
on July 11,2012 | 07:15PM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
Unless there's a smoking gun somewhere (such as Donovan/Sheriff knowingly participating in a scam), this smells like a knee-jerk over reaction. Surely the investigation can be done without such dramatics. It's not as if Donovan has a history of exercising poor and questionable judgement like Frazier did.
on July 11,2012 | 04:48PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
Maybe not entirely JD's fault.... he's just the head honcho who relies on his staff to carry him through. It sounds like a case of somebody on the staff fumbling the football by not doing due diligence. If I were UH, I'd focus more on getting the $200,000 back through whatever legal means necessary... rather than conduct an internal witch hunt right now.
on July 11,2012 | 05:01PM
dufus wrote:
I disagree with you MM, it is JD's fault.....how come the money could not have been put in an escrow account? You tell me JD is not intelligent enough to figure that one out. I think we ought to deduct the loss from his pay, fire him and move on..!!
on July 11,2012 | 05:44PM
false wrote:
False2: The money was sent and approved thru channels.
on July 11,2012 | 09:13PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
I'm just saying focus on getting back the $$$ first, then see who fumbled the ball.
on July 11,2012 | 10:34PM
dalawyer wrote:
UH should have a toasting party this afternoon! Last call for UH athletics. It's going down hill very fast. I'll drink to that!
on July 11,2012 | 05:11PM
Tarakian wrote:
Aww, they jump the gun to fast. They should of given him the benefit-of-the-doubt! I heard only good things about Donovan as AD. I don't like it at this time.
on July 11,2012 | 05:11PM
Dawg wrote:
HANG HIM HIGH! Jimbo has acted like his s___ does not stink to long with his all about business attitude. He should get as quick a kick as he gave the others who did not meet his standards. Aloha Jim, time to go back to non profit or maybe a high school program like Molokai High. More like your speed - bump. Hahaha!
on July 11,2012 | 05:12PM
niimi wrote:
JD should have been sacked before Mack.
on July 11,2012 | 05:15PM
Tony91 wrote:
The complete lack of due diligence is one thing, but from the little facts supplied by the Star Advertiser, the business case for a concert like this in a venue seating 11,000 people is upside down too. Why isn't this also the source of an investigation. I don't have a MBA, but some simple math reveals a marginal return even if all the tickets were sold: 11,000 seats x $70 per ticket=$770,000 gross sales. 11,000 seats x$250 per ticket= $2.75 million. Assuming all 11,000 tickets are sold, gross sales are between $2.75 million and $770k. The actual number would obviously range somewhere between those two figures. Let's very generously assume the concert sold $2million worth of tickets. That is the gross sales from the event. According to the SA, UH would get 10% of the gross PROFIT (not sales) or 75% of proceeds. That means UH would get around 10% of a figure far less than $2 million. UH's return would thus be a figure LESS THAN $200k!!!! -and that is being generous! Why on earth would UH front $200k for an event that would return less than $200k? Unless SA figures are missing other data or are incorrect (such as the $200k would be returned plus 10%), UH would actually loose money on this event! There is the real story. As outrageous as this whole thing is, it was a stupid idea to being with that never should have been funded at this level. This goes beyond Donovan but extends to the fiscal controllers and cfo of the university.
on July 11,2012 | 05:31PM
WarriorFan3 wrote:
you bring up some very interesting facts. Stevie and company probably cost more than what would have been received in ticket sales. Star should get the actual contract so we know what was expected and how. who ran the numbers for this deal? Thanks for the insight. Regarding the AD, now he is feeling what the players feel...i do not wish this 'rain of terror" on anyone. Get the facts then decide what to do.
on July 11,2012 | 07:05PM
PCWarrior wrote:
UH attorneys are notoriously incompetent. They caved with Frazier. They caved with Jones.
on July 11,2012 | 07:17PM
katana77 wrote:
They need to jump all over this to take the light off the high salaries of Apple ($439k) and Greenwood ($427k) recently in the news.
on July 11,2012 | 05:35PM
waverider808 wrote:
don't forget hinshaws sabatical pay of 275k then giving her tenure as a teaching prof
on July 11,2012 | 06:56PM
iwanaknow wrote:
so what is Donovan's pay rate?
on July 11,2012 | 07:09PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Over $200,000 - if anyone thinks the job is easy - give it a shot. Actually Freitas would be a heck of an AD.
on July 11,2012 | 07:18PM
false wrote:
False2: No way!
on July 11,2012 | 09:15PM
csdhawaii wrote:
Freitas has always had an eye on the AD position. Greenwood likes Freitas. Hinshaw likes Donovan. Donovan was protected while Hinshaw was Chancellor; didn't take long after she left for him to get ousted, did it? It was just a matter of time.
on July 11,2012 | 10:30PM
danji wrote:
on July 11,2012 | 06:06PM
akuman808 wrote:
Appropriate action, investigate, get the facts and then decide. Very good to see sensible and more pragmatc adults taking charge.
on July 11,2012 | 06:12PM
Descartes22 wrote:
I also wonder how Donovan could be so blind. However, temporarily stripping him of his job is excessive. Rockne seems a bit too pleased with usurping Donovan and almost Alexander Haig-like.
on July 11,2012 | 06:50PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
This is just weird. Why not keep them on their jobs? Why send them away, so that officials can search their offices lol?
on July 11,2012 | 07:06PM
inverse wrote:
You think someone on the inside is getting a cut on the $200K lost by UH? On a serious note, you cannot discount someone inside UH besides the promoter pocketing all of the loot.
on July 11,2012 | 07:35PM
tjpmd1 wrote:
Athletic directors deal in a business where a handshake is a deal. Move into the entertainment business and "let's do lunch" does not mean that there will be a lunch. "Trolling" for business with a star connection has become a common thing. Come up with an idea, sell the potential customer on a exciting event or promotion -- then if the customer bites then see if it works. Normally, these flaky deals play out fast. The story is that event was not planned with Stevie Wonder's knowledge. Was he contacted at all or was there some expression of interest or dates penciled in. The timing just looked to incredibly tight for something like this. Stars like this work on long lead times. I have seen scenarios like this play out before (not so big and public however). A good concept or idea is conjured up by a promoter, a potential customer shows interest -- then the star's "people" are involved and you are hit with lawyers, agents and a wall of complications. How did this non-event get this far?
on July 11,2012 | 07:10PM
heluhelu wrote:
I hope "someone" takes the initiative to pursue all angles to this story because the outcome could affect Manoa's ability to recover its deposit as well as Donovan's future. Epic Talent, the broker/booker/producer contracted by Bob Peyton to facilitate Wonder's appearance at SCC, was formerly incorporated as BAB Productions. In 1998, BAB, a then-boutique talent agency, along with 4 other minority-owned talent agencies sued Creative Artists Agency (CAA) on antitrust & civil rights grounds. CAA prevailed via summary judgment in 2005, however you can bet CAA hasn't forgotten or forgiven. The only question that matters: Did Wonder authorize Epic to book his appearance at SCC? If so, it could mean Epic, BPE and UH *all* acted in good faith even "if" Wonder may have violated a prior agreement w/CAA.
on July 11,2012 | 07:45PM
inverse wrote:
I think the writing is on the wall that the UH football team will have a lousy season. I think the current UH players are just so upset at all changes in leadership, including all of their old coaches getting fired. They might not have cared about Macmuffin, but firing coaches like Miano must have reailly P'd them off. Hence the reckless drinking and driving by the players cause they just don't care if they win or lose games and figure the UH team is so desperate, they will NOT lose their scholarship and at worst, like Cayman, just sit out a few games. I think Chow made a mistake by not completely kicking Cayman off the team and just transferring a seasoned quarterback looking to transfer into another team as they realize Chow does NOT mean business when it comes to discipline. UH athletics financial problems will continue to grow its multi-million dollar deficit. The ONLY hope with UH is that the UH wahines are insulated from all of this B S and reach their maximum potential of making the final four, for themselves, Shoji, UH fans and the State of Hawaii in general.
on July 11,2012 | 07:48PM
Anonymous wrote:
Next UH administrative action against Donovan and Sheriff: Permanent suspension WITHOUT PAY for both of them. I hope these adverse actions happen no later than July 31, 2012.
on July 11,2012 | 08:27PM
vernchs wrote:
When the "promoter" ask that the money be wired to an account didn't red flags go off? Didn't someone contact the Wonder's agent and confirm this concert? Hey, UH, you have just won a lottery in Nigeria and all you need to do is send $200,000 to a Swiss account named, URDumb. I can get Frank Sinatra to do the concert for half that amount. And these people have college degrees????? Really?? Dumbnovan will be fired no question. Our poor university will now be the laughing stock of the entire US, watch ESPN soon.
on July 11,2012 | 08:33PM
kensato wrote:
wow, great deal. screw up, and get a paid vacation. just like the cops, commit a crime, and get placed on admin leave at full pay. what a great state, what a country.. lets not fire anyone, so we can perpetuate stupidity and criminal behavior in our govenment.
on July 11,2012 | 09:00PM
mahiai01 wrote:
it must be those nigerian head hunters. with all those scams. There the best in the world beside the russian underground.
on July 11,2012 | 09:06PM
CriticalReader wrote:
The problem with this situation is that, while the factual circumstances are pretty unique, no one is shocked that it did or could happen. In fact, I think everyone looking at this situation can see in their mind's eye someone dangling this idea in front of the gimmick happy UHAD staff, The UHAD staff immediately trying to figure out how many tickets they can get for themselves and pass out to their friends (I bet the first thing looked at was what ended up being "ok" during the Sugar Bowl ticket fiasco), and then trying to position themselves to take credit for the "idea". I'll bet a ":backstage" pass list was one of the first documents prepared. You can see all that happening, can't you?
on July 11,2012 | 09:18PM
false wrote:
False2: If he loses his job, I hope he sues everybody. This guy is a straight up guy and got burned. He may have been a little naive but thats why there is a system in place for checks and balances. Everyone is covering there backsides and Apple is trying to be the tough guy and justify his position. Makes ine think that this thing was orchestrated by UH Administration.
on July 11,2012 | 09:19PM
rayhawaii wrote:
Maybe it was Stevie Wunder who scammed UH, and some one thought it was Stevie Wonder. I wonder? I hope UH doesn't fall for Bono when he calls and ask for 200k deposit.
on July 11,2012 | 09:49PM
IAmSane wrote:
Dear Mr. Donovan, I have some money that I would like to give to you. Please email me at nigerianprince (at) excite (dot) com for more information. Thank you.
on July 11,2012 | 10:04PM
ya_think wrote:
Rockne Freitas has been after JD's job from day one. If he gets the job on a permanent basis expect everything to go down hill.
on July 12,2012 | 12:35AM
inverse wrote:
Other than the woman's volleyball team, the UH athletic department is ALREADY downhill, reached the ocean, and about to sink into the abyss.
on July 14,2012 | 02:45PM
Breaking News
Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout

Wassup Wit Dat!
Can You Spock ‘Em?

Warrior Beat
Meal plan

Volley Shots
Fey, Enriques on MJNT

Political Radar
Wilhelmina Rise, et al.

Court Sense
Cold War