- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - The University of Hawaii’s athletic director earned more than $1 million over his 28 months with the school, records show.

Former athletic director Ben Jay accumulated an average of more than $13,200 in bonuses per month and was also owed a $370,000 bonus upon his departure under the terms of his contract, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/1SLGnUR).

His successor, David Matlin, has a $25,000 ceiling on bonuses thanks to a philosophical shift said to be taking place in contracts at UH.

The Star-Advertiser obtained both contracts on Monday in response to a request under the state’s open-records law.

“Ben Jay’s contract is an example of the past, not the present,” UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said Monday. “This isn’t just about athletics; this is about part of a new overall philosophy here at UH.”

Jay’s contract laid out the possibility of more than $300,000 per year in bonuses if he achieved benchmarks in championships, postseason appearances, academic performance and a balanced budget.

He could have topped $500,000 in bonuses during his time at the school, but UH said he declined all but $15,000 of $155,000 during fiscal year 2013 “since he was employed only the second half of FY 2013.”

The majority of the bonuses were tied to academic performance, with only a small portion related to on-the-field achievements.

UH said it expects a $4.2-$4.4 million athletic department deficit for the fiscal year that ended this June.

UH has sought to tighten athletic department contracts in recent months. Matlin’s base salary is listed as $290,016 and he may be eligible for what is now termed “incentive-based compensation” in eight areas, capped at the $25,000.

The cap will rise to $40,000 and then $60,000 in future years.

“I think if someone looks at how this contract was structured and how David Matlin’s contract is structured, they can see the changes there - and there are more changes to come,” Meisenzahl said.

At a UH Board of regents meeting this month, regent Simeon Acoba Jr. asked for an extensive review of the school’s contract policies, how they are generated and how they compare with those at peer institutions.

“I would hope they go through some uniform process and not something on an ad hoc basis. It is difficult to believe that every single contract has to be renegotiated. I’m hoping that we’re not starting from scratch and that we have good, binding legal contracts.”


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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