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Summer funds delayed 9 days for 60 local athletes

By Oskar Garcia

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:34 p.m. HST, Jun 12, 2014



About 60 Hawaii scholarship athletes were delayed nine days in receiving their summer funds, prompting some to sleep in a locker room while waiting for checks totaling about $92,000, university athletics officials said.

Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay told The Associated Press on Thursday that clerical problems delayed processing of the scholarship funds from both the athletics department and the university's financial aid department. He said the stipends have to be carefully processed to avoid paying wrong amounts — something that's not as easy as pulling out a checkbook.

"When it comes right down to it, we need to plan better," Jay said.

The delayed funds — covering about six weeks of expenses for students going to summer school and living off campus — were paid by June 6, Jay said. The problem affected less than one-fifth of the 332 athletes in 21 programs who are on full or partial scholarships.

"This should never happen again," he said. "We have a responsibility for these kids to make sure they're taken care of. That's what their parents expect of us."

Seven athletes slept in a locker room last week, eating energy bars and watching shows on a big screen TV, Jay said, while he contacted the chancellor and others and got the problems fixed. The delay came as students were transitioning from dorms during the spring semester to off-campus housing, meaning they needed the checks to pay deposits and rent.

Jay said NCAA rules restricted the school's options to solve the problem, meaning he couldn't buy the athletes groceries or take them out for meals.

"You could be looking at a potential NCAA violation by doing that," he said. "You have to look within the limits."

Jay said the issue was simply clerical and unrelated to larger financial challenges being faced by the department, which is expected to post a $2 million operating loss this fiscal year.







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Anonymous wrote:
"Jay said the issue was simply clerical and unrelated to larger financial challenges being faced by the department, which is expected to post a $2 million operating loss this fiscal year." and "He said the stipends have to be carefully processed to avoid paying wrong amounts — something that's not as easy as pulling out a checkbook." If the kids had been willing to give a concert, could we have cut them a check for $200K?
on June 12,2014 | 08:34PM
none wrote:
I'm not surprised. U.h. screwed up my kids scholarship app.
on June 12,2014 | 09:35PM
st1d wrote:
when checks are late, players bills don't get paid, and the u.h. comes off as not caring about the athletes.

to avoid late payments, evictions or starving players are forced to live off of charity, wits or loans.

some players, feeling neglected by the u.h. may fall prey to sharks loaning them money to buy food or pay rent.

to maintain integrity to all sports the u.h. must honor its commitment to issuing stipend checks to athletes on time, every time.

hungry homeless athletes are vulnerable targets for abusive loans and coercion.


on June 13,2014 | 05:08AM
kwensel wrote:
The people who work to get the checks out are probably the same people who complain when the line at their supermarket or store is too long. We should make them wait for 9 days in line to purchase their groceries
on June 13,2014 | 08:00AM
ghstar wrote:
"When it comes right down to it, we need to plan better," Jay said. Well, Duh. How in the world can you expect to recruit top athletes when the word gets around that the athletic dept is broke and athletes are forced to sleep in the locker room and eat power bars? This is not coach Chow's fault. But he will catch the blame for a poor recruiting season.
on June 13,2014 | 08:04AM
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