Archive for March 28th, 2008

JD apologizes for HF providing false financial information to them

March 28, 2008

HA Note: “University of Hawai’i-Manoa athletic director Jim Donovan apologized yesterday to state House lawmakers for what he described as evasive and inaccurate financial information his predecessor, Herman Frazier, provided about the department last year. Donovan’s account of the department’s debt over the past five years and of its year-to-year financial picture was far bleaker than Frazier and other UH administrators gave when they appeared before state lawmakers at a briefing in May.”

Apologizing about how the legislators were misled in the spring by HF, JD said:
“It’s obvious as we collect the data that the representations that were made to you in the spring were not accurate, and so, again, I apologize on behalf of the athletic department for not being as transparent as they needed to be in those meetings.” (HA)

JD said that his figures are based on financial data collected through February and he apologized:
“for the evasiveness and lack of transparency in some of the financial answers that you received.” (HA)

HA Note: “The committee voted yesterday to recommend a state management and financial audit of the athletic department over the past five years. Donovan and other UH administrators opposed a state audit as unnecessary. The department is already subject to independent financial audits each year and UH has just authorized an independent management audit. But lawmakers said the lack of transparency, and the likelihood that the Legislature will make substantial investments in UH repair and maintenance projects this session, warrant a state audit.

State Rep. Michael Magaoay, D-46th (Schofield, Mokule’ia, North Shore), the committee’s chairman, and state Rep. James Tokioka, D-15th (Lihu’e, Koloa), the vice chairman, also reminded Donovan and other UH administrators that some lawmakers took hits from UH football fans and boosters for questioning Frazier and others last year and for trying to micromanage the athletic department. Last May, Frazier was questioned for more than four hours about the football team’s schedule, the condition of Manoa’s athletic facilities and the department’s finances. The briefing was called in response to comments quarterback Colt Brennan made in The Advertiser about the poor condition of athletic facilities. Magaoay and other lawmakers accepted Donovan’s apology and said they want to help the new athletic director succeed.”

About how the Legislature will feel good about things when UH is back in financial shape, Magaoay said:
“The day we’ll feel vindicated is the day when they do it right.” (HA)

HA Note; “Donovan, who started his new job on Monday, told The Advertiser earlier this week that the department’s financial situation was worse than he expected. He gave a more detailed description to the committee yesterday. Although several debt figures were discussed at the briefing last year, The Advertiser reported that the department’s accumulated debt was about $2 million, a number that was not disputed by Frazier or other UH administrators at the time.

Donovan said yesterday that a recent analysis put the accumulated debt over the past five years at $4.4 million. The debt figure is influenced by, but separate from, the department’s year-to-year financial performance. Frazier and other UH administrators also had told lawmakers the department had ended the fiscal year in 2006 in the black for the first time in five years. More recent reviews, however, show that the department was actually in the red in 2006, in the black in 2007 and projected to be about $882,000 behind this fiscal year.”

HA Note: “Donovan told lawmakers yesterday that, because of the rewards from the UH football team’s appearance in the Sugar Bowl, the department is now projecting to come out $734,000 ahead at the end of the fiscal year in June. UH expects to net $2 million to $2.5 million from the Sugar Bowl.”

About how the Sugar Bowl money will save them this year, JD said:
“The Sugar Bowl will definitely save the day as far as this year’s budget is concerned.” (HA)

HA Note: “But he said the department is estimating a $1.6 million deficit next fiscal year and is looking at how to reduce expenses and bring in new revenue. State Rep. K. Mark Takai, D-34th (Newtown, Waiau, Pearl City), who has been critical of the department’s finances, accepted Donovan’s account and said he wanted to focus on the future.”

Responding to JD’s apology, Rep. Takai said:
“I’d like, from my standpoint, to acknowledge your apology — apologizing for the turmoil and perceived lack of transparency. That apology is appreciated and accepted, because it was tough, it was very tough, about eight months ago.” (HA)

HA Note: “Tokioka, the committee’s vice chairman, also questioned Donovan and UH associate athletic director Carl Clapp yesterday about how UH decided to select the 450 to 500 people that traveled to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans at the university’s expense. Tokioka said he received reports that the spouses and children of some UH staff were covered while some trainers and medical staff were not. Donovan confirmed that some staff spouses and children did travel at the university’s expense, while some staff did not. Clapp said he would provide lawmakers soon with a complete accounting of the Sugar Bowl delegation.”

Fale Laeli to miss Spring Practice

March 28, 2008

About how he will not be able to participate in Spring Practice, Laeli said:
“I’ve got two bad knees; I need to rehab them both. There’s no sense in rushing it. I want to rehab it so I can start running. But I’ll be out there (at practice) anyway. I’ll be there every day.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Laeli had arthroscopic surgery in February to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He also has tendinitis in his left knee.”

HSB Note: “Josh Leonard moves to the top of the list at left tackle. Junior Rocky Savaiigaea and freshman Vaughn Meatoga will also see plenty of reps when spring practice starts Monday.”

About Fale missing Spring Practice, Mack said:
“Fortunately, we have a lot of depth up front, but Fale is one of our main guys. (HSB)

HSB Note: “Despite a variety of nagging injuries last year, Laeli played in all 13 games and was in on 25 tackles, including 2 1/2 sacks for 17 yards.”

HSB Note: “A total of 114 players are expected to report for spring camp, McMackin said. Some will be cut after camp to make room for 25 to 28 new players coming in for fall camp.”

About how some of the cut players will be able to return in the Fall, Mack said:
“Some will be able to come back when school starts.” (HSB)

About how he has identified 10 Hawaii high school football players in the class of 2009 that he is “considering” offering scholarships within the next few weeks, Mack said:
“If we offer them now and they accept, we will stand by them.” (HSB)

HBS Note: “Saint Louis School junior wide receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann was offered by UH last month, Stutzmann’s father, Bill, said.”