HONOLULU (KHON2) — A little more than two months after UH Athletics Director, David Matlin, announced he will be stepping down at the end of the school year, the search continues for his replacement. However, today a group of former UH athletes and coaches said the committee is tasked to find the next and is severely lacking.
They delivered a letter Friday morning to UH president, David Lassner, and the group said the committee as it stands now, lacks diversity. “There are no Polynesian or African American advisory members,” said the group.
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“I’m sure they’re very good people, solid individuals” said former UH Basketball player, Artie Wilson. “Problem with the committee is that they’re not representative of the student athlete population at the University of Hawaii”.
Wilson is one of more than two dozen former players and coaches to sign the letter. The group claims the search committee should include people who better reflect the program and the state.
“When I look at the recruit class that Timmy Chang and his staff put together it’s probably 75 to 80% Polynesian or African-American”.
Among others who signed the letter, four time Superbowl champion Jesse Sapolu and Rick Blangiardi who signed on not as the mayor, but as a former Hawaii player and coach.
“Leadership of which the athletics director is responsible for this program on where it sits today going forward in the competitive realm of division one athletics is extremely important,” said Blangiardi.
He also laments the lack of of anyone with a football background involved in the process. Meanwhile, many others have also expressed concerns over the qualifications needed. specifically a minimum of three years’ collegiate athletics administration, which they said would disqualify too many potential candidates with strong public or private sector credentials.
“”We’re simply asking for expansion so at the end of the day we can find out in he spirit of what we need that hopefully that will lead to the best possible person,” said Blangiardi.
In a statement told to us by the university: “The petition expresses heartfelt concerns and accurately notes gas in membership. The University will review the gaps identified in the petition with consideration of a modest expansion of membership”.
The application process closes Friday March, 10.
The search committee includes:
- Michael Bruno, UH Manoa provost
- Susan Eichor, president and COO of AIO
- Laura Beeman, UH women’s basketball coach
- Charlie Wade, UH men’s volleyball coach
- AI Chee, former chair of Ahahui Koa Anuenue
- Sabrina McKenna, Hawaii Supreme Court associate justice
- Scott Sinnett, UH Manoa faculty athletics representative
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Letter to UH President, David Lassner: