UH regents settle with Gib Arnold for $700K
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The money will be paid out across three years to benefit both Arnold and the school. The decision settles a grievance Arnold filed after he was fired almost a year ago.
"The contract definitely left room for interpretation I wasn't there honestly," said Vice President of Legal Affiairs at UH Manoa Carrie Okinaga.
Part of her job is to make sure future employee contracts at UH don't end up like former coach Gib Arnold's. A clause basically stated if he's fired without cause, the school would have to pay him a lump sum of money worth his full contract -- just over $1.2 million.
The regents voted to settle. We're told the decision was because a trial could've gone on for a long time and cost the school even more.
"The possible expenditures of attorney's fees to take this matter through trial even if you were to win entirely probably could've exceeded the $700,000 just in it of itself," said Okinaga.
In response, Gib Arnold's attorney, Jim Bickerton, said, "Coach Gib is pleased that the case has settled and believes that the nature of the settlement -- under which UH will have paid him a total of $950,000 since they terminated him on October 28, 2014 and has dropped all claims against him, answers many questions that the public had about this matter."
UH says it put new measures in place to guard against major payouts like this.
"We have two attorneys reviewing every athletic department contract, every head coach contract will be reviewed by two attorneys and myself. We are reallocating positions within OGC to focus on contract review and again we are focusing on trying to standardize some of the language," said Okinaga.
The school also says it's hired a new compliance officer in the athletics department to stay in line with the NCAA. It's also looking at increasing its compliance staff during practices and it plans on giving better rules training to students and staff.
While a settlement between the school and Arnold has been reached, this isn't the last time both parties will be involved with each other. Both UH and Arnold are currently awaiting a ruling from the NCAA committee on infractions regarding seven violations. Both sides just finished a hearing on Thursday in Texas. A final ruling could take several more months.