Local Connection: University of Hawaii Basketball - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: University of Hawaii Basketball

By: Rick Blangiardi

Poor University of Hawaii. They just can't seem to get it right.

They dismissed head basketball coach Gib Arnold and we still don't know why. A N-C-A-A investigation is pending. Two key players have left the team. And at Hawaii News Now, we broke the news last week that interim coach Benjy Taylor has serious financial issues and the athletic department didn't know anything about it.

According to his ex-wife's attorney, Taylor owes 30-thousand dollars to the IRS in back taxes. He owes more than 12-thousand dollars in back child support and has stuck his ex-wife with a 20-thousand-dollar credit card bill.

Taylor says it's a private matter and athletic director Ben Jay says he stands behind his coach. Hard to believe the athletic department officials say they were not aware of Taylor's financial problems.

If they weren't, they should have been. They should have asked Taylor if there was anything in his background that, should it come to light, might embarrass the university. And Taylor should have been forthcoming if asked. but basic due diligence, in this case, was never followed.

Why does it matter if the head basketball coach has personal financial problems? Well, for starters, he runs a $2-million-dollar-a-year operation so if he can't manage his own personal finances, why would anyone think he can run a sports program.

More importantly, he is in a leadership role and a mentor to young men for whom he should set a much better example.

The university should have gotten to the bottom of this matter before we at Hawaii News Now did. That they didn't, adds more proof that the athletic department leadership is asleep at the switch.

Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly