POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Feb 06, 2014
~~<p>Like a kindergarten teacher, athletic director Ben Jay will sit down and essentially write report cards for each of the 14 University of Hawaii head coaches whose contracts he is recommending for extensions.</p>
Like a kindergarten teacher, athletic director Ben Jay will sit down and essentially write report cards for each of the 14 University of Hawaii head coaches whose contracts he is recommending for extensions. In that, UH might be the only school in major college athletics where the AD has to pen justification for giving the cross-country or tennis coach a rollover. No word yet if it will require a notary’s signature or sworn testimony of three witnesses. Most places hire an AD to run the program and entrust the position with the powers and flexibility to get it done. Many let ADs hire multi-million-dollar football or basketball coaches on their own accord, bouncing it off the president or board with a phone call. But at UH, where the motto might as well be “cover your posterior in mounds of paperwork at all times,” the layers of bureaucracy can be stultifying. At UH, as we have come to learn, there is often no middle ground. It is either a paucity of checks and balances or a suffocating gauntlet of them. Which is why seven months after Jay set out to work on the contracts of men’s basketball coach Gib Arnold and women’s basketball coach Laura Beeman, for example, nothing has so far been announced. For them or the other 12 on deck. Jay, remarkably without rolling his eyes excessively or pounding the table, told a Board of Regents committee on Wednesday that there was a difference of opinion among the bureaucracy on how he should go about the contract extensions. Some quarters apparently wanted him to run them by the regents. Others said it wasn’t necessary if the terms did not exceed three years or the previously set salary ranges. And none did. Finally, a verdict was rendered, with or without the white puff of smoke from Bachman Hall. You’d think the school had never extended one of its coaches before. Though we’ve seen that they sure know how to buy one out in a pinch. UH is one of the few places where you embark on a national hunt for an AD, hire a mainland search firm to help out, finally find one and pay the guy $293,000 a year but tie his hands at several turns. Progress this isn’t, at a school of which it was once said rules are made in order to make more rules. It isn’t like the man who inhabits the AD’s office in Manoa is lacking for things to do these days, either. There is, for example, a considerable deficit to be wrestled with. There is money to be raised and there are tickets to be sold. Then there is the charting of progress of the long-overdue Clarence T. C. Ching Athletic Complex out his office window while holding the NCAA at bay. All of which get interrupted while jumping through the hoops that are increasingly laid out. Meanwhile, Jay has some report cards to write. Reach Ferd Lewis at 529-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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