Delayed checks lead to UH players bunking in locker rooms
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
No money. No place to live. No food.
Those are the conditions some University of Hawaii student-athletes were subjected to recently because their financial aid checks failed to arrive on time.
The problem appears to be due to a disconnect between upper and lower campus in managing the proper paperwork, leading to checks arriving late.
That's why the UH locker rooms could've been mistaken for a camp site last week as seven players from the Rainbow Warrior football team were forced to use the facility as an overnight shelter.
Some were unable to pay for rent in their off-campus housing.
On top of that, athletes lived off protein bars and shakes because they couldn't afford groceries.
It's the latest black eye for a university under fire for its growing debt in the athletic department and under-staffing campus wide.
"It doesn't sit well with me because we're here to take care of their kids," athletics director Ben Jay said. "We're here to make sure that our students are getting what they need. To hear of these continuing issues is disappointing. It is something that we need to resolve."
Senior offensive lineman Kody Afusia was among the players affected by the delay.
"It's actually a lot rougher because there are a lot less people around," Afusia said. "Even like, all our friends, they're off island. They're at home for summer vacation. We're just here and there's less resources for us when we don't have those things."
Athletes received their checks last Friday, more than a week later than expected.
Since then, they've found housing and will be able to focus on summer-classes and voluntary workouts that began this week.
Jay said he and UH-Manoa chancellor Tom Apple have organized meetings with the Financial Aid and Disbursement departments to try and solve a broken system.