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Jay appointed as Hawaii’s AD

Ohio State official ‘will be a great addition,’ Apple says; Greenwood must give final approval

December 8, 2012
By BECKY BOHRER , The Associated Press

HONOLULU - Ben Jay of Ohio State was appointed as the University of Hawaii's athletic director on Friday.

Jay would replace Jim Donovan, who was given a new post following a bungled Stevie Wonder concert and athletic department fundraiser earlier this year. The university cleared Donovan of any wrongdoing, but a state Senate report last month said the incident had tarnished the university's reputation.

Jay has served as senior associate athletic director for finance and operations at Ohio State since 2006. The University of Hawaii did not immediately provide information such as his start date, length of contract or salary, saying in a news release that those details will be released after approval of the appointment by university system president M.R.C. Greenwood.

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BEN JAY, appointed UH athletic director

"I am delighted that Ben is joining us as UH Athletics Director, and know that he will be a great addition to our Manoa ohana with his vision and strong finance, accounting and compliance background," said Tom Apple, the school's chancellor.

Before working at Ohio State, from which he has earned two degrees, Jay spent 13 years as the Pac-10's associate commissioner, and five years as Fairfield University's assistant athletic director for business and finance.

The committee tasked with finding Donovan's replacement received more than 150 applications. Howard Karr, who chaired the search advisory committee, said Jay "brings an extensive background in management and financial experience from big-time college athletics, has numerous valuable contacts and possesses the vision, leadership skills, passion and integrity to take UH Athletics to the next level."

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he was "extremely proud and happy" for Jay.

"Ben is a seasoned professional in intercollegiate athletics who will be sorely missed at OSU, but the University of Hawaii will benefit from his great leadership," Smith said.

UH lost $200,000 in the concert issue, after it wired the money as a deposit to a company claiming to be Wonder's booking agent, Epic Talent LLC. The Senate Special Committee on Accountability said lack of oversight and communication among athletic department officials, the university's general counsel and its disbursing office led to the problem.

The university called off the event in July, after Wonder's agents notified it that Epic had no authority to set up events for the singer. The committee concluded the university could have avoided losing the money if officials had performed due diligence on the company.

A North Carolina man has pleaded not guilty to charges he defrauded the school.

UH system vice president Rockne Freitas has served as Manoa's interim AD since July.



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