By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
It’s no secret that the weeks following the end of the University of Hawaii football team’s season have been marked by controversy and turmoil. A number of prominent Rainbow Warrior standouts – QB Chevan Cordeiro, LB Darius Muasau, RB Dae Dae Hunter, WR Nick Mardner and DL Jonah Laulu, to name a few – have transferred out of the program. In addition, head coach Todd Graham has been accused of fostering a toxic culture within the team, fueled by accusations of verbal abuse, favoritism and threats.
Both Graham and UH Athletics Director David Matlin have acknowledged the need to continually find ways to improve the football program. “We can’t ignore that there are areas that we need to improve on,” Matlin said in a press statement. “Coach Graham and I are in constant contact and are always looking for ways to make the program better. To all of our supporters and future, current and past Rainbow Warriors, keep the faith because we’re working tirelessly to maintain a program that you can be proud of.”
Now, a group of Hawaii legislators want to learn more about the situation.
Two State Senate panels – the Committee on Ways and Means (chaired by Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz) and the Committee on High Education (chaired by Donna Mercado Kim) – have scheduled an “informational hearing” at the State Capitol this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The committees are expected to question UH officials about two subjects: 1) the budget and costs relating to coaches’ contracts, and 2) issues surrounding the player transfers.
Due to COVID concerns, members of the general public will not be allowed to attend the hearing. However, you can listen to the proceedings live on ESPN Honolulu (92.7 FM/1420 AM) starting at 2:30 p.m. Listen to the discussion and be ready to call into “The Sports Animals” with your reactions!