Just prior to the start of the 2014-15 season Hawai’i parted ways with head coach Gib Arnold, with an NCAA investigation into major rules violations sparking the decision. Arnold took the school to court for the remaining money on his contract, and on Thursday the school announced that the legal battle has reached its conclusion.
The University of Hawai’i Board of Regents approved a $700,000 settlement, with Arnold receiving $500,000 and his attorney $200,000. The first payment will be made November 30, with the attorney receiving his full payment and Arnold getting $100,000.
Arnold’s portion of the settlement will be completed with payments of $200,000 on January 15, 2016 and January 15, 2017.
“It’s time for the university to move past this chapter in the history of UH men’s basketball,” UH Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman said in a release. “It is the best thing for UH and it is the best thing for the program. Now we can turn our full focus to the future and the players and coaches, as they prepare for the upcoming season.”
The school self-reported violations that were traced back to 2013, with Arnold and then-assistant coach Brandyn Akana being relieved of their duties and star forward Isaac Fotu leaving the program around the same time.The school announced its self-imposed sanctions back in mid-May. The NCAA has yet to offer a final ruling on the investigation.
Benjy Taylor took over as interim head coach as a result, leading the Rainbow Warriors to the Big West tournament final where they lost to UC Irvine. This spring Hawai’i hired former Saint Mary’s assistant Eran Ganot as the program’s new head coach.
When the Mountain West and Pac-12 announced last year that they would enter into an officiating alliance, one of the goals was to improve uniformity between the leagues when it came to how games were called. Tuesday the leagues announced that they’ve taken another step in this direction when it comes to basketball in the western United States, with the Big West, WAC and WCC joining the alliance.
As a result of this move, five of the six conferences in which most of (if not all) of their members are located in the western United States are part of this alliance with the Big Sky being the lone exception. According to the release, Bobby Dibler will preside over the alliance as the officiating coordinator.
A major focus of the expanded alliance will be training. Prior to the season, Dibler and staff will host a training clinic for all roster officials to review mechanics, game situations, rules knowledge and other key factors to ensure they are among the best trained in the country. Officials from all five of the conferences will participate, furthering the impact of the collaboration on officiating in the western United States.
With the changes occurring within college basketball, including the move to a 30-second shot clock and increased calls to do a better job of allowing freedom of movement, expanding the alliance isn’t a bad idea at all. Of course this hinges on officials not only being consistent with calls but sticking to it the new initiatives throughout the year.
A couple years ago when there was a move to improve freedom of movement, complaints about the length of games eventually led to a return to things being let go by the time conference play rolled around. There will be complaints, especially in games deemed to be “whistle-fests,” but that’s something people will have to deal with as officials and the rules committee look to do things that will improve offensive production.
For some programs participating in the Maui Invitational there’s a desire to play a game on the way out to the islands in order to avoid too much inactivity before the start of the tournament. That will be the case for North Carolina, which is one of the eight teams booked for the 2016 edition of the event.
Thursday it was announced that the Tar Heels will play a road game at Hawaii November 16, 2016, which will mark the second time in a three-year period that the Rainbow Warriors get to play an ACC team headed out to Maui.
Last season Hawaii knocked off Pittsburgh in a game played in Wailuku, Maui. However the meeting with the Tar Heels will be a true home game for new head coach Eran Ganot, with the contest scheduled for the Stan Sheriff Center.
“This is a tremendous opportunity and honor to compete with one of the premier programs in all of college basketball,” Ganot said in the release. “Can’t say enough about the efforts of so many to make this happen as its not too often you can schedule an opponent of this caliber on your homecourt.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring North Carolina and their terrific, Hall of Fame Coach, Roy Williams, to the Stan Sheriff Center in front of our wonderful fans!”
North Carolina will be part of what should be a very good Maui Invitational field in 2016. Joining the Tar Heels and host Chaminade are Connecticut, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Tennessee and Wisconsin.