UH football program’s turmoil lands on state Senate agenda
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The current state of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football program is set to be examined at the State Capitol later this week.
The senate committees on Ways and Means and Higher Education are holding a hearing Friday to discuss state spending on coaching contracts and the departures of student-athletes.
The meeting comes amid a tumultuous off-season that has seen several high-profile players, including starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and star defensive player Darius Muasau, leave the program.
There are also increasing doubts about head Coach Todd Graham.
Veteran Honolulu Star-Advertiser sports columnist Dave Reardon doesn’t expect Graham to be fired as a result of the briefing, but says it will force the program’s issues into the public eye.
“To me the bottom line is, it’s $800,000 a year, the highest salaried employee by the state and these are all state resources and state lawmakers are representative of us,” Reardon said.
“We are the constituents right? So to me, they’re representing the public in asking these questions in a public forum.”
Its not clear if Graham will accept the invitation to the hearing, but Reardon expects Athletics Director Dave Matlin will be there.
He adds that while it’s not common for state lawmakers to question a specific athletics program, the senators have a right to know what is unfolding at the university.
“A lot of people feel like it’s out of their kuleana because they’re the lawmakers, they’re not the law enforcers,” Reardon said.
“But, they do have a responsibility for determining how much money goes to UH.”
While the public won’t be allowed to testify, the public is able to view Friday’s hearing online.
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