Gib Arnold presser transcript

It was Gib Arnold‘s turn on Thursday.

A day after Hawaii acting head coach Benjy Taylor offered up a 30-minute press conference, Arnold, the ex-coach, gave his own press conference in his Kailua abode, to the Star-Advertiser as well as KHON and KITV.

Arnold got emotional at times, near the end especially when he spoke of the missed opportunity to lead this team.

Here is the transcript of the interview, which lasted about 20 minutes.

Video highlights may be found here.



You were let go without cause. Why? Do you know the answers?
No. Not at all. Haven’t been told anything. In my dismissal, it was, I heard about it from my wife, who heard about it from the radio. Who heard it from a friend. About an hour later or so, Ben Jay came to my office and read me a three-sentence statement and put a piece of paper on my desk.

He read you a statement?
Whether he read it (or not), it was a very short … and he had a piece of paper in front of him. And then (pauses) left. I got up and they were escorting Brandyn Akana out of the office.

There are no public allegations against you … is there something we don’t know?
You know, it’s so confusing for me, because I’ve been in this from Day 1. And it’s very frustrating, because you know, I’ve been very proud of how we’ve run this program. And the questions that I’ve been given or been asked over the last few months (pauses), I don’t know where they’re pulling from it or what they’re taking from it, from the answers. There’s a due process that is, that the NCAA mandates. You know, and what’s going to happen … is probably in the next two or three weeks we’ll get a confidential letter of allegations. And I’m sure it will be mysteriously leaked to the Star-Advertiser, and Ferd Lewis. We’ll probably get an email from the athletic department telling us we’re not supposed to do that, we can get fired if we share confidential information. Probably be a few nasty articles, referring (to) us as Charles Manson or whatnot. But then something beautiful will happen; there’s actually going to be a process, that the NCAA allows as part of this. There will be 90 days of which we’ll be able to read everything that they’ve said. So when you ask me if there’s something out there that you don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ll be able to read what others have said about us. And at that time, I’ll be able to sit down with my counsel and look up information. Say, ‘wait a second, they said this on this date, where we have documentation that proved this.’ My counsel will then be able to talk to those people that, other people that they interviewed. And cross-examination, and find out where the differences lie. And that’s a process set up by the NCAA. It has not happened yet. So the idea all along, was hey, we’ll wait until this process happens, we’ll find out what the allegations are, and probably, once we’ve put out our information, a number of those allegations will be disproven. A few of them will probably have some truth or some partial truth to them, that we’ll agree … to some reason. And there might be couple too like, wait a minute, we disagree with this. We disagree with this statement. And that’s the process, through the NCAA. Once they’ve heard both testimonies and everything, it’s their job to determine, OK, do we believe this staff with 60-plus years of NCAA coaching with not one single violation in 60 years, or do we believe this person. Or this ex-employee. Or this disgruntled ex-player that says this against this player. Or do they believe the current players. That’s their job. But that never happened. We never got to that. And my goal all along, was, that’s when you find a solution. That’s when you work it out. That’s when you sit down with the program, the administration, the NCAA, and say, OK, here’s an issue. We need to correct this. It may not just be the basketball team. It may be administration. It may be education. Let’s correct this. And if there’s discipline to be given, then give it at that time. And I would have accepted that, wholeheartedly and understood. But when a verdict was made, when only one attorney was able to choose his witnesses and give his version, without anything else, you can understand why it wouldn’t make sense. So, again, you ask me is there anything you don’t know. I don’t know.

Since the start of the investigation, questions that you went through, did you think this day would come?
No. I didn’t. The only time, I mean when I first started, I didn’t even have representation. We self-reported it. There was a mistake made and we’ve admitted to it, that one of my assistants made. It was a mistake. It was out of character. It was a mistake based on some information that he had received, that wasn’t correct. But he made a mistake. We self-reported that. And I figured the process would then be, this is what to do. This is what they tell us to do. They always tell us, if you find something, you self-report it. We did.

The mistake that was made, it never got out? Never left campus? Never submitted to government or NCAA?
No, I don’t know how in-depth I can go, but what actually happened was, once they realized it wasn’t the proper information, the proper information did come in by the source. And so that was submitted. But, again, I don’t know how much I can or can’t get into that. But when I found out, within 30 seconds I was on the line with Ben Jay. I said, ‘this is what’s happened, this is the situation. Let’s take it from here.’ And then there was pretty much silence for a long time. It started spinning out of control.

Do you feel like there is anything that will come out that would indicate you could have been let go with cause?
That’s a fair question. And, I don’t. I never have. And the questions that were asked, we gave them honest and complete answers. Now, underneath the new NCAA legislation, every part of the program falls onto the head coach. Every part. Every assistant, every administration. A DOBO. A secretary. And you’re basically guilty til proven innocent. That’s a tough way to live. And it’s new. I’ve had a lot of coaches call me and tell me, ‘you’re the first victim of this new legislation.’ So, you know, again, not knowing, not being able to talk to your assistants about what’s going on, not knowing what other questions are out there, very difficult for me to answer, saying … I know the questions I was asked. I felt very confident, as did my attorney who said, ‘I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I don’t see a smoking gun.’ You know, never in our wildest dreams did I expect to have a piece of paper put on my desk.

Are you hoping to be reinstated someday?
You know, we’ve never fought for that. I’ve heard a lot of people bring that up, and (pauses), you know, I’ve loved it here. We built something special. We did it the right way. If there were mistakes that were made, sorry. I would have liked to have been part of the process of creating the solution. That’s all I ask. I think at the University of Hawaii, we’re great at finding the problem. We suck at finding the solution.

Would you rather get your UH job back or clear your name?
(pauses). Clear my name. No doubt about it. Clear my name. Again, I’m not a perfect person. My assistants aren’t perfect people. But, give us a chance, just to say, see what’s being said about us. See where the truth really lies. And the NCAA does give you that opportunity. I’m not bashing the NCAA. They’re doing their job. We made a mistake. And we submitted it, and told them we made a mistake. And that’s what they’re supposed to do. I have no problem with the NCAA and how this has been handled by the NCAA. In fact, I think they’re doing a good job.

On the decision being made at the chancellor’s office? Board of Regents out to get the program?
That’s a great question. I mean, I don’t know the answer to that. I’ve heard a lot of things, like a lot of people have, and a lot of people’s names have been thrown out. People that, you know, haven’t been pleased since I got here. There’s always been a very small (contingent) of people who never wanted me here. I get that. That’s part of coaching. You have your allegiences. When something comes out in the Star-Advertiser that’s negative, there’s a group of people that think that’s WRONG, there’s a group of people that CHEER, there’s a group of people that doesn’t think here or there. That’s part of coaching. When non-leaders are put in leadership position, stuff like this happens.

On Isaac Fotu being ineligible:
Kills me. … I don’t know (if he’ll play this year), but it kills me. And I haven’t even been able to reach out and help him. I haven’t been able to ask him, what’s the issue. I was told the day before I was let go, I was pulled in and told that they were going to make him ineligible. I asked, what is he being alleged of? How can I help? And they wouldn’t tell me. They said, ‘I can’t tell you.’ How can I help him if I can’t, what am I supposed to tell him? What am I supposed to tell his parents? They said, just talk to him and help him through this. Yeah, of course I will. But how? I don’t even know what he’s being alleged of. I can tell you, I have nothing, zero, to do with any of this. They never asked me questions regarding any specific thing with Isaac Fotu, along any lines, that I know of. So, that’s very troubling, when a great kid. Not a good kid. A great kid, is told you can’t play, and we’re not telling you why you can’t play.

Was this the year to do something special?
(gets emotional)
Yeah. Yeah. I think we worked really hard to get to this point (barely audible whispers), to where I had a special group of guys. I had NBA-talented players. And we were young, and we had great leadership in Garrett. We had great players in Fotu and Jankovic and Negus and Mike Thomas grew up and Aaron Valdes. Our freshman class was the best ever. I’ve had top-25 teams, and I felt this was the best team I’ve ever had the opportunity and pleasure to coach. And so did the guys. And that’s what’s killing them — they’re feeling like this has been taken out from under them. And they continue to be told it’s for your good. And I don’t buy that. And neither do the guys. They don’t believe that, when they were told ‘this is done for you.’ They don’t believe that.

What does this do to your career, can you work D-I again?
(I) could be done. You know, I mean, again, Google my name. See what comes up. It won’t come up, ‘highest team GPA.’ It won’t come up ‘winningest percentage coach in the history of UH.’ It won’t come up ‘great group of guys.’ (Or) ‘20-loss program to a 20-win program.’ It’ll come up, ‘NCAA investigation, fired.’ It’s hard for an AD to sell that to his people. So, you know. But that’s the least of my worries. We’ll figure something out. You know, try telling an 8-year-old kid he can’t be the ballboy.

On Benjy Taylor:
I support Benjy. He’s a really good guy, and a really good friend. I think he’s been put in a tough situation. And like I told the players, when I was able to meet with them for 20 minutes, I support whatever decision they make. If they want to stay, and a new guy, bring in another guy, I’ll fight for them to keep their scholarship. They want to go, and they need help, I’ll support whatever their family decides. And I told the same to Benjy. There’s no ill feelings between me and Benjy whatsoever. He’s got a family to feed. They’ve asked him to do this. This wasn’t the game plan. Our game plan this year was to win, to have this team be a Top 25 team and then take it a step further next year with the talent we had. … Unfortunately, it changed.


  1. Chicken Grease October 31, 2014 6:58 am

    Man, you know. With the Bishop Estate Trustee scandal way back when? When those elites started to get taken down, I quite actually pumped my fist with each report.

    Pray, pray that we see the same thing happen to Ben Jay and the UH Chancellor, and every other [censored] that had to do with Gib’s firing.

    What happened to Gib all just sounds wrong. And he shouldn’t have to pay for the sins of his father, so people need to shut the hell up about that.


  2. Jordan October 31, 2014 7:05 am

    Public Support for Gib Arnold —GETS FIRED without reasonable cause or public evidence. (probably will lose his star recruits too)

    Public outcry for Norm Chows Removal —Keeps job and has AD’s support with substantial evidence proving his inability to be a head coach.

    Typical UH….keeping and firing the wrong guys. This is why this program will never be big time. Its not the AD’s fault I bet either. It’s the people hold his ball and chain in their hands….this is the sad reality of the UH, corruption, and if you don’t think so, then you are blind to reality.

  3. poorboy October 31, 2014 7:52 am

    It is that Small contingent, that group, that does not like Gib, that used this…to get Gib out..when that letter comes out, and Gib is not guilty of any gross wrong that warrants his or even Akana’s termination. The NCAA was always willing to work with UH and the coaches to resolve matters. Even perhaps, no ban on post season play, lesser penalties recommended etc. The power/s that be that screwed Gib will answer. I think Gib has a lot of things for his attorney to work with, to clear his name, and maybe even restoration, or compensation. UH chancellor, president, etc. will get there do.. Gib go get them, clear your name…And UH top has to get fixed or got ridden of.

  4. Warrior Dog October 31, 2014 8:09 am

    I thought Frazier was bad but apparently it only got worst when Ben Jay came in. He had this great plan to get us better but it was only talk since his arrival everything that was good became sour. Under his leadership we changed our name twice, our attendance in football is at all time low, we fire a coach before we know of the penalties, most of our bb players hate him. How does he go to work. I used to be a proud fan now I don’t look forward to any of the game except women’s basketball. He will probably do something to that be his end. At the years end I will turn in my Koa Anuenue membership that I had many years before his coming and won’t renew until his departure which I hope is soon.

  5. innocent observer October 31, 2014 8:23 am

    believe that bj days are numbered. despite the NCAA investigation he was okay in giving Arnold a raise and a three year contract. had that contract been approved, the uh would have been more financially on the hook in the firing of Arnold. how can someone do something irresponsible as that? further it is difficult to believe Arnold’s comments, as he has been somewhat untruthful to the NCAA – he is not trustworthy. because he is making comments now, it appears that his lawyer advised him that he has no legal remedy to sue uh for his firing – what he is doing now is trying to defend himself in the media. if any legal action is contemplated, his lawyer would advise him not to comment as anything he says could be used against him. he is now trying to blame uh for firing him without cause claiming he did nothing or egregious to warrant a firing. but in reality he is the one that is to blame, he allowed his coaches to do things against NCAA policy and lied when asked about it.

  6. Chicken Grease October 31, 2014 8:34 am

    innocent observer October 31, 2014 at 8:23 am
    . . . further it is difficult to believe Arnold’s comments, as he has been somewhat untruthful to the NCAA – he is not trustworthy.

    Arnold says that he doesn’t blame the NCAA, that they’re doing their job. Are these the words of someone untruthful to a body (in this case, the NCAA) that he or she praises?

    You don’t have to read between the lines — Arnold IS saying that UHAD is crap.

  7. Superstar Advertiser October 31, 2014 8:59 am

    Quote: “this staff with 60-plus years of NCAA coaching with not one single violation in 60 years”

    Some violations:
    1) Before coming to UH, Gib was an assistant at USC. While there, he was the “lead recruiter” for a team that illegally recruited OJ Mayo. Ended up with the USC coach leaving for UTEP.

    2) I guess Gib forgot that Brandyn Akana was on his staff. Just last year, Akana was suspended for a month.
    It seems Gib can’t remember certain parts of history.

    3) Remember this?
    After his first year at UH, an attorney from Cades Schutte was asking questions into the basketball program. Now here’s where it gets interesting! Jeff Portnoy, BOR member and sports radio host, is a partner in that same firm.

  8. Superstar Advertiser October 31, 2014 9:03 am

    Chicken Grease, go away while the big guys talk at the table. You bring nothing to the table. LOL you want to believe every word that Gib says, when he’s trying to clear his name. A name that cannot be totally cleared. But that he says is totally clean, and his entire staff too.

    He’s been a liar, and an obfuscator in the past. And now he’s a a desperate man and you want to believe his word. Go to bed, kid.

  9. tsboy October 31, 2014 9:19 am

    if you were Arnold, wouldn’t you try to defend yourself? the UHAD has basically thrown him out and labelled him a cheater. this could essentially end his career as a coach. if you feel that you did nothing wrong, you would sit there and take it? if you say yes, you are lying. hell, if Gib cheated, throw him out. but lets see the evidence first. if there isn’t any, other heads better roll.

  10. gtbows October 31, 2014 9:30 am

    I think the way treated Coach Arnold in the end (reading a statement and walking away) was reprehensible. But I believe that Chancellor Bley-Vroman was behind the firings. Chancellor Bley-Vroman’s motives I believe are to bring down UH Athletics. He is probably one of those that is angry that the UH Athletic coaches have higher salaries than himself. He is a danger to the only major sports teams in Hawaii. Hope he is replaced as soon as possible before he causes more damage to the UH Athletic program!

  11. poorboy October 31, 2014 9:36 am

    Ends at the top? The boss of Athletics, should be, is Ben Jay AD. Football downhill, WVB good, howevcr not as dominant, WSC and WBB they have not even made NCAA tournaments, yet they are Ben Jay’s darlings, no disrespect to Bud or Laura or the girls, just to Ben and his Ohio St. cronies and crowing about them and who he knows. I do believe, Ben Jay does not have complete support of upper Admin. Upper Admin. is an education , which is good. driven entity, Athletics is not really important not priority, however, for Hawaii fanbase, what else high level Athletic team do we have? UH athletics..Probably, Gib, Brandyn and Ben Jay, they all have wives and kids, young ones. All will suffer because of this, mishandling., or going further up, .. the Politics involved. The athletes involved, the fans, and supporters, .. Hawaii, goes through a lot. Worse things in world with Ebola, murder, terrorism, however, sometimes sports, gives Hawaii fans something as a respite.
    I really hope for UH, Ben, Gib And Brandyn, soon, things were settled and UH athletics can again be able to compete for championships and leadership is is up to par. It is a challenge.. Football, coach.. maybe Ben Jay, probably after this year or his contract coming up end of term,.. they will be gone.. We shall see.
    The wait for the Allegation letter and NCAA protocol and getting resolved, even if Gib and Brandyn, Ben or other staff are implicated. .. then all Hawaii fans, we accept and move on. WE DO SUPPORT THE ATHLETES.. I hope UH MBB team can stick together, looks like 14 at least are committed. Hope that 2 wavering, the consider, just stick it out to end of year, to have that possible 30 win season!

  12. Hapaguy October 31, 2014 10:50 am

    I don ‘t understand why our reporters (in Hawaii) can never seem to ask the pointed questions. There have been many reports about forged documents, and an Ipad given to a player but in this interview I don’t see one question regarding those reports/comments. Now I understand he will probably say he can’t answer but you never know. At least get him on the public record regarding it…….

  13. Hapaguy October 31, 2014 10:52 am

    The questions that are asked are designed to illicit a sympathetic response from the reader and not to actually seek the truth in the matter….

  14. Chicken Grease October 31, 2014 11:24 am

    Superstar Advertiser October 31, 2014 at 9:03 am
    Chicken Grease, go away while the big guys talk at the table. You bring nothing to the table. LOL you want to believe every word that Gib says, when he’s trying to clear his name. A name that cannot be totally cleared. But that he says is totally clean, and his entire staff too.

    He’s been a liar, and an obfuscator in the past. And now he’s a a desperate man and you want to believe his word. Go to bed, kid.

    Oh, quiet yourself, Super-nobody. Don’t talk — you got OWNED in the last thread. “Big guys”? I earn big guy money. So deal with it. YOU go away.

  15. poorboy October 31, 2014 11:26 am

    Brian, thankyou for transcript of interview statements, so all can view and try to make sense of it all. Have to get Ben Jay, wonder what he will say…probably what he should have said,, it is ongoing and I cannot comment on it, this is under legal advisement.. otherwise opens up can of worms.. all type of speculation.

    Brian: Are All 16 guys practicing or are some guys not part of team? How is Isaac Fotu doing?

    Mahalo Brian.

  16. roygbivfan October 31, 2014 11:58 am

    gib should be pissed at brandyn. both knew about the new ncaa provision that ultimately holds the head coach responsible for actions of anyone associated with the program. if gib is being truthful about knowing nothing about the issues (edited documents, ipad), the ncaa report should clear his name. but gib’s glib so we’ll have to wait and see.

    ben jay should immediately name benjy interim hc, if uhad and upper admin truly have the student-athletes’ interests at heart.

    we will see.

  17. poorboy October 31, 2014 12:07 pm


    if Benjy cleared to go, he is okay, not part of this ncaa thing. And maybe he is.. It would be crazy for Ben not to just let Benjy Taylor, Senque Carey and Brandon Loyd, finish the season, with a reinstated, hopefully Fotu, UH can still win big. even the BWC if they are allowed.. I agree, sometimes Gib, he likes to talk, and very emotional, however , I am sure he went public maybe JMO, under advisement.. to publicly and he is super sure, what he says…No knowledge of gross wrong, was not worked with or notified.. However.. could have should have been handled better.

    Ben Jay, just gotta make the call: Stay with Benjy, maybe.. Ben approved or UH appoved the promotion of Brandon Loyd to full time assistant that helps a lot, maybe signal, they want Benjy to finish season.. if they bring in Wallace in a week or so… man, I don’t know how team will react, some , really focused guys will play whomever the coach.. still say great Gib had 16 part of original roster.. just in case and sure enough.. fotu’s eligibility, that is huge focus too, otherwise, others guys step up, UH has a lot of good guards and wings.. just shoot the ball.

  18. poorboy October 31, 2014 1:31 pm

    Thing is: Wonder is this shock, the letting go before season, before or not even letting know what might come down. , really threw Gib and Akana for a loop. This must be going viral. I mean with the video statements media interviews and scope of terminate Without Cause, .. wonder, if Gib is HGEA member or member of NCAA coaches Union, or if there are labor/athletic coach legal groups that might offer services to Gib, to help resolve. Then UH would be in for a battle, just to clear the matter. Wonder how far up this goes. Administration sanctioned, upper people penalized, Gib and Akana offered up,their heads on platter, to save the higher up , the power people, . .. This day and age of social media and real time feeds.. wonder if even legal or law students, advocate groups, going to get involved. Plus, Gib’s own counsel, when the letter comes out, and no grounds, serious for early termination.. wow.. the spit will hit the U Hawaii Fan and Ceiling and all over Manoa.. Hope for the best , resolve all.. what a mess, and getting messier.. Team stick together.. stay the course. go to school do well, and just prove by winning on the court, YOU guys are good to go.

  19. faasavalu22 October 31, 2014 2:43 pm

    In trouble with NCAA at USC. Players can’t wait to transfer. Program been investigated in one way or another since he got here. Never won a conference tournament game. Plays D2 teams every year. Plays teams like Maryland Shore. Picked to finish sixth place in one of the sorriest conferences in the nation in fifth year of coaching. And he allegedly had to cheat to accomplish these amazing feats.

  20. Kanole October 31, 2014 3:27 pm

    Committing to Benjy Taylor as interim coach for the rest of the season makes the most sense, and he was a head coach before. But, got to remember that he has been with Gib since 2012. He had to know what was going on regarding the violations. Guilty by association? That’s why no firm commitment to Benjy? Does the administration want to completely clean house and start fresh? I hope not.

  21. islandman October 31, 2014 3:58 pm

    What does the 2nd paragraph mean below :

    ” Taylor became the acting head coach on Tuesday when former head coach Gib Arnold and assistant Brandyn Akana were fired by the university.

    However, there was no assurance in the immediate aftermath that Taylor would be allowed to actually coach the season. “

  22. islandman October 31, 2014 4:03 pm

    #20. That was on Tuesday. Now he is the Acting Head Coach for the rest of the season .

  23. hon2255 October 31, 2014 10:36 pm

    That’s it Gib, throwing out the sympathy card,while you just threw everyone under the bus except yourself. To top that you drove our program into the dumpster , thanks buddy.

  24. kruzen November 1, 2014 11:20 am

    Nice to see the alumni supporting the MBB.

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