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Arnold not running from what seems to be a frivolous claim

By Dave Reardon

LAST UPDATED: 10:24 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Is that all there is? There'd better be more to come from the University of Hawaii and a couple of whiny hoopsters.

A lot more.

If Gib Arnold's not being investigated for something significantly more than what's known at this point, it's going to look like the school is conducting a witch hunt against one of its best coaches.

Right now there's nothing, unless not being as nice to players as you were when you recruited them and putting the guys in the game you think will win are crimes.

Arnold has the nerve to discipline his basketball players (aka student athletes) who miss mandatory classes with early-morning running. Well, if that is worthy of investigation, the school needs to also go gumshoe on the rest of its coaches for similar, uh, transgressions.

While we're at it, I saw an intramural badminton player endure a public berating from his coach the other day ... better take a look at that.

And what's the statute of limitations on this type of unjust torment? Can I file retroactive complaints with every high school, youth league and P.E. coach who made me run when I messed up?

Of course there's more, and we don't know what it all is yet.

Sure, where there's smoke, there's fire — but as often as not when you get to the flames it's just a bunch of Cub Scouts roasting marshmallows.

The complainers are bringing some really weak stuff to the basket. We've also heard something about lack of playing time. Seriously?

Then there's UH's very cloak-and-dagger "can neither confirm nor deny" an investigation. What is this, a nuclear submarine during the Cold War?

Arnold's not talking either, but he's texting. The wording of his no-comment is telling, if not golden.

"I invite this process and believe the university is doing exactly what they should do. Out of respect for the process I will hold any comment until it is concluded."

Translation: "I've got nothing to hide."

Let's just say he's not quite shaking in his Chuck Taylors.

It's not easy to simultaneously bow to your bosses and tell them to bring it on in the same paragraph.

"He's one of the most gifted people I've ever seen at schmoozing those who need to be schmoozed," someone close to the program said, "And when."

When he was up for the job last year we had a 15-minute conversation and I felt like I'd just chugged three Red Bulls. Yeah, I'd run a few miles for this guy, maybe not at 5 a.m., but yeah.

So you know he's a great recruiter. But you also should know he's not Mr. Rogers in the practice gym. He admits it.

ARNOLD'S PROBABLY guilty of promising 35 minutes a game and instead delivering the pine — as is every coach in the world.

Since his contract is under reconstruction (longest since that of the South), the timing of all this is interesting. Is there more to it than some good old-fashioned cover your okole? Proactive defense against a lawsuit?

Maybe the Manoa moguls also see an opportunity to remind a maverick coach who turned around a moribund program he's not the boss.

Sometimes that's necessary. But as UH fans know, that kind of thing doesn't always end pretty.

Reach Star-Advertiser sports columnist Dave Reardon at

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