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UH chancellor stands by decision to fire ex-coach Arnold

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University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman said he believes firing men’s basketball coach Gib Arnold under “without cause” provisions was still the right thing to do despite its $1 million-plus price tag.

Under questioning by legislators, Bley-Vroman defended his Oct. 28, 2014 firing announcement in an appearance before the State House Committee on Higher Education today.

Arnold received a $700,000 settlement this month that, in addition to bonuses and legal costs, is expected to cost the school in excess of $1 million, officials have said.

Asked by committee chairman Isaac Choy, “If you knew damages for firing Arnold would be over $1 million would you have let his contract run its course?” Bley-Vroman replied: “I cannot say I would have made a different decision if I had known differently.”

Bley-Vroman said, “No one gave me reason to believe at time that there was an interpretation of the contract that would lead to an amount of $1million (plus).”

A succession of UH officials said the just-announced contract for new men’s basketball coach Eran Ganot does not include the provisions that were contained in Arnold’s deal.

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