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Ex-Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold in a legal battle with his former school

Gib Arnold

AP Photo


The breakup between Gib Arnold and Hawaii, the school where he was the head coach for years, is getting testy, and it’s all over an outstanding hotel bill from a trip to Vegas.

The school is alleging that back in 2012, Arnold failed to pay a $2,132 hotel bill at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas with an advance that he was given. The hotel has sent the bill to a collection agency. They’ve filed a lawsuit to try and get the money back from Arnold, a suit that also asks that liquidated damages provision in Arnold’s contract -- which states that Arnold should receive a buyout equal to his total salary to that point should he be fired without cause -- be declared unenforceable due to the NCAA violations he committed and did not report to the NCAA.

Arnold, as you might imagine, is not happy about the lawsuit, mainly due to the fact that he believes he is owed $1.4 million from the university after he was fired last October. He filed a grievance in January against Hawaii and the two sides failed to agree on a buyout.

“I find the UH lawsuit to be ridiculous and pathetic,” Gib Arnold’s said in response to the lawsuit, 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.”

Arnold was fired without cause last fall due to an NCAA investigation into Hawaii’s program while he was the head coach. The program was dinged with seven Level I and II violations and Arnold was named in all seven. The school and the coach will both meet in front of the Committee on Infractions in mid-Jult.