Gib Arnold was the head basketball coach at the University of Hawaii for four years before being fired amidst a flurry of NCAA sanctions, and now he’s in a legal battle with the school. No, not over being terminated, but over a hotel bill.
In a report by Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, UH alleges that Arnold failed to pay $2,132 in hotel expenses during a stay at the Palms in Las Vegas with an advance the university gave him.
The matter has since been referred to a collection agency and the university has sued Arnold for the money owed.
On top of that, the legal dispute also has gotten the “liquidated damages” aspect of Arnold’s contract involved. This is an aspect of the deal that states Arnold’s buyout should equal his salary to a certain point should he be fired without cause.
But of course, Arnold is fighting it and put out a statement of his own today.
“I find the UH lawsuit to be ridiculous and pathetic,” Gib Arnold’s said in response to the lawsuit, in a statement that was circulated to local media outlets. “The hotel bill was from 3 years ago and not even in my name nor did I set up the reservation. I only was asked to leave my credit card. My exit checklist after being terminated without cause included a section on being clear of any outstanding bills.
“Human Resource did not bring up any issues at that time and cleared me. I have never personally been contacted by the UH about this. The only contact came years later from their attorney who they are paying tens and (sic) thousands of dollars to chase down a two thousand dollar billing error by the Palms. It just doesn’t make sense. If I or one of my Assistants owe it we will be happy to pay it, in fact UH can deduct it from the 1.4 million they owe me.”
Though Arnold was technically terminated without cause, it’s obvious why he was fired. UH was facing major NCAA sanctions, so best to get rid of the man responsible for them.
Just the same, Campus Sports will update this legal battle as more details are made available.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports