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Ex-UH coach Arnold files motion to dismiss lawsuit against him

    University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior Head Coach Gib Arnold talked to his players during a time out against the Cal State Northridge Matadors during a Jan. 2014 game at the Matadome in Northridge.

Former University of Hawaii men’s basketball coach Gib Arnold filed a motion Tuesday morning to dismiss the university’s lawsuit against him, according to his attorneys.

James Bickerton and Stephen Tannenbaum said in an email that “the lawsuit is nothing more than vindictive retaliation and/or public grandstanding, since the UH is well aware that its dispute with a public employee union member cannot be resolved by a lawsuit.”

The June 10 Circuit Court lawsuit by UH alleges Arnold did not reimburse the university for expenses of a 2012 road trip during Arnold’s tenure as coach of the Rainbow Warriors, and cites breach of contract.

Because Arnold’s employment was contractual, his attorneys said, “Arnold was at all times a bargaining unit employee. These facts mean that the lawsuit cannot be entertained by the Courts and the dispute between Arnold and the UH must be resolved exclusively in the grievance and arbitration process.”

Arnold was terminated “without cause” by UH just prior to the 2014-15 season while mired in an NCAA investigation into the basketball program.

UH’s suit against Arnold is separate from Arnold’s pending grievance for $1.4 million he claims he is owed by UH, as well as the NCAA’s upcoming hearing on the investigation set for mid-October.

UH’s lawsuit seeks a to-be-specified amount of punitive damages from Arnold at trial and asks that Arnold’s grievance against UH be declared unenforceable.

In response to the motion for dismissal, UH’s outside counsel William McCorriston said, “Both the filing of the motion and the public statement on Mr. Arnold’s behalf are indicative of Mr. Arnold’s ongoing inability to take responsibility for his actions, which have subjected the university, and its men’s basketball program, to potential NCAA sanctions.”

McCorriston said “the UH will be responding with its own motion for summary disposition in our favor.”

Arnold recently announced he was hired by the Boston Celtics as a scout on the West Coast.

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