UH Manoa launches nationwide search for athletics director

 UPDATED 5:50 PM HST Aug 13, 2012
HONOLULU -

University of Hawaii Chancellor Tom Apple said in a news conference Monday afternoon that there will be a nationwide search for a new athletics director.

Former UH Manoa athletics director Jim Donovan was also there at the news conference.  He said he was pleased to learn that he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the FBI and an external investigation.

"Everyone knows I bled green.  I am a two-time graduate of UH and I am looking forward to this new challenge," said Donovan.

Donovan will have new responsibilities ranging from marketing and communicating with the community to assist with the university's evolving land grant mission.

Apple said there is no formal title for Donovan's position and is a lateral move from his athletics director position.  He also said Donovan is free to apply in the nationwide search for an athletics director.

"We may have lost some money from actions of people who were trying to do a good thing," said Apple.  "We need policies that are stronger, better, more clear."

Donovan was placed on administrative leave with pay after about a month ago after about $200,000 was reportedly paid to a talent agency for a Stevie Wonder concert fundraiser for the university that turned out to be illegitimate.

Donovan's base salary will remain the same through the term of his current contract that ends in March 2013.  He will then be reassigned to a new position and be recommended for a three-year appointment with a salary of over $200,000, according to officials.

Rich Sheriff was also cleared of wrongdoing and was back on the job Monday as Stan Sheriff Center manager.  He was also placed on paid administrative leave at the same time as Donovan.

Sheriff told KITV he was directly involved in arranging the concert, but he was reluctant to talk about Donovan's situation.

Sheriff said the concert investigation is ongoing and would have to play out before he can talk.  But, he said he was glad to finally have this cloud over his head lifted.

"I am really glad to be back.  I am looking forward to the season," said Sheriff.  "It's nice to be back to be able to talk to my friends again."

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