Hawaii head coach, assistant coach fired

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Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold will be relieved of his duties, sources have confirmed to NBCSports.com.

The school officially announced the move on Tuesday. Assistant coach Brandyn Akana was also let go. Akana was suspended for 30 days by the school, and missed 12 of the final 14 games while on leave.

“These painful but critical steps are being taken in an effort to strengthen our athletics program and to do right by our student athletes and students in general,” said Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay said in a statement. “We appreciate the work of Gib and Brandyn and wish them both the best in the future.”

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported on Tuesday afternoon that associate coach Benjy Taylor and former Hawaii coach Riley Wallace are candidates to replace Arnold on an interim basis.

The NCAA had been interviewing those affiliated with the men’s basketball program since March. Those interviews reportedly ended on Friday. The university was looking to impose self-sanctions, and last week Arnold delivered a statement through the Star-Advertiser reassuring fans.

“We have yet to even receive a notice of any possible allegations from the NCAA,” it read. “Nor have we been given our mandated 90 days to respond to any allegations. If there has been anything administratively in our program where we have fallen short we will learn from it and correct it immediately.”

It appears Hawaii wanted to take action before hearing from the NCAA.

Hawaii opens the season on Nov. 15 at home against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.