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State senate to hold hearing on University of Hawaii football program

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / SEPT. 4
                                Hawaii head coach Todd Graham looks on from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA football game against the Portland State Vikings at Ching Field in Honolulu.

    STAR-ADVERTISER / SEPT. 4

    Hawaii head coach Todd Graham looks on from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA football game against the Portland State Vikings at Ching Field in Honolulu.

The state Senate is conducting an online informational briefing regarding the University of Hawaii football program on Jan. 7 at 2:30 p.m.

There are two agenda items: “Budget and cost related to coaching staff contracts,” and “Issues relating to the transfer of players,” according to an announcement from the state Senate Ways and Means and Higher Education Committees.

The hearing comes amid extensive criticism of UH football coach Todd Graham and more than 10 players with remaining eligibility leaving the program, including two co-captains and many other starters.

Graham was hired before the 2020 season, and is in the second year of a five-year contract that pays him $800,000 a year and includes a guaranteed buyout.

It was not confirmed by tonight, but athletic director David Matlin is a likely attendee.

There is precedent for state lawmakers conducting hearings regarding UH athletic department matters.

In 2012, a Senate committee investigated the “Wonder Blunder,” when the school was taken for $200,000 by con artists who claimed to be organizing a Stevie Wonder concert that would raise money for the UH athletic department.

In 2007, then-UH athletic director Herman Frazier was grilled for 31⁄2 hours by Senate and House Education Committee members about a variety of issues, including fundraising and management of facilities.

Friday’s videoconference meeting is open to the public, but there will be no public testimony. For more information, call (808) 586-6800.

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