Maui Sports

Jay Resigns at UH, but Plans to Stay Through Transition

December 9, 2014, 7:10 PM HST
* Updated December 9, 7:21 PM
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University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay annouced his resignation Tuesday at a press conference on Lower Campus. Photo by UH Athletics.

University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay annouced his resignation Tuesday at a press conference on Lower Campus. Photo by UH Athletics.

By MauiNow Staff

University of Hawaii Athletics Director Ben Jay, who resigned Tuesday, will continue to run the day-to-day operations for athletics and be paid his current $293,000-a-year base salary through the end of June or until his departure.

Citing personal reasons, Ben Jay announced his resignation at a press conference on Lower Campus. Jay informed UH Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman of his decision yesterday.

Jay could leave UH earlier than June for a new job, but did not announce plans to do so today.

“I am honored to be AD, and thank everyone at the program, UH, and supporters throughout Hawaii and beyond for the privilege to serve,” said Jay. “I am gratified by the steps we’ve taken to ensure that UH Athletics is headed in the right direction – especially in supporting the education of our student-athletes, improving facilities, and keeping up with the changing landscape of national collegiate athletics. It is very important to me that I continue to contribute during this transition period.”

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Jay will not get any cash payouts or be paid the balance of his salary if he leaves UH before June 30, Bley-Vroman said. Jay will be paid as long as he continues to work at UH, the chancellor said.

University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay annouced his resignation Tuesday. Jay will continue to run UH athletics and be paid his current $293,000-a-year base salary through the end of June, as long as he keeps working at UH. Photo by Lyle Amine / Ka Leo O Hawaii.

University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay annouced his resignation Tuesday. Jay will continue to run UH athletics and be paid his current $293,000-a-year base salary through the end of June, as long as he keeps working at UH. Photo by Lyle Amine / Ka Leo O Hawaii.

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Unlike former UH head basketball coach Gib Arnold, who was fired without cause earlier this fall, Jay does not have a buyout provision in his employment agreement.

Arnold was paid the balance of his $344,000-a-year salary when he was terminated in October.

Before he announced his resignation, Jay announced that football coach Norm Chow would be retained after a 4-9 season.

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The UH athletic department is facing a $3 million deficit, even though the Manoa chancellor’s office last year absorbed $13 million in debt that the department had accumulated so it could become solvent in 2014.

The Warriors are 8-29 in Chow’s three seasons as head coach.

His contract pays $550,000 annually. He is guaranteed the full $550,000 for the 2015 season. The buyout pricetag is $200,000 for the 2016 season.

Jay was appointed AD by former Chancellor Tom Apple in December 2012.  Before joining UH, he was Executive Associate AD for Finance and Operations at Ohio State University.

Chancellor Bley-Vroman expressed his appreciation to Jay for overseeing Athletics since 2012, and for Jay’s continued oversight to ensure student-athletes are receiving support and continuing to excel in the classroom.  This has resulted in much improved academic achievement in Athletics, with a department GPA of more than 3.0 for two consecutive years among student-athletes, higher than the general undergraduate student body.  Also, there have been improved Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores for all sports teams, well above the 930 threshold developed by the NCAA as an early indicator of eventual graduation rates.

An AD search will commence in January, according to Chancellor.

“We are grateful for Ben’s leadership of the Athletics Department,” Bley-Vroman said. “We must always remember that success in Athletics should be measured, in large part, on the academic experience of student-athletes, who are here at UH Manoa to earn college degrees that will impact their future careers and lives.  We appreciate that Ben has given us notice of his intent to leave now, which will give us the necessary lead time to select the next AD, and have that new leader in place before mid-2015.”

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