Hawaii’s athletic director Ben Jay has resigned following a tough two-years after failing in his efforts to keep the university's athletic department from hemorrhaging money. He cited family reasons for resigning at a news conference Tuesday and that interim Chancellor Robert Bley would take over. Reports say he is not being forced out.
Jay also announced that Norm Chow would be retained as head football coach following a dismal 4-9 season. Chow's retention beyond this season had been in question after the universtiy fired basketball head coach Gib Arnold along with assistant coach Brandyn Akana in October. Arnold had been with the program for four years, and had compiled a 72-55 record and his team was 20-11 last season. While no specifics were given for their dismissal the basketball program had been under investigation for NCAA rules violations since May.
Jay had been trying to right a ship that had been floundering financially since he took over in December 2012. Besides NCAA violations that date back to November 2012, the University of Hawaii’s athletic department is facing a $3 million deficit. This comes after the Manoa chancellor's office absorbed $13 million of the accumulated debt this year. Jay had been the former Chief Financial Officer for the Ohio State Buckeyes before coming to the University of Hawaii. He also had extensive experience and several important posts within the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) conference.
The search for a permanent replacement for Jay will begin in January.