Wednesday | November 22, 2017
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Hawaii to pay athletic director $293K per year

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii has offered to pay its new athletic director $293,000 a year, with the potential for thousands of extra dollars in bonuses.

Ben Jay, who has served as senior associate athletics director for finance and operations at Ohio State since 2006, accepted the offer last week. The conditional offer released by the university system Friday shows Jay signed it Dec. 3, four days before Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple announced Jay’s appointment.

The offer calls for an initial three-year appointment, with an option for a two-year extension subject to satisfactory performance evaluations.

The appointment is pending approval of university system President M.R.C. Greenwood, who is expected to announce her decision after the next board of regents meeting, scheduled for Jan. 24. In a statement released Friday, the university system said Greenwood has met with Jay and is “very pleased” with his selection.

Jay would replace Jim Donovan, who was reassigned after a bungled Stevie Wonder concert and athletic department fundraiser earlier this year. Donovan recently agreed to be athletic director at Cal State Fullerton.

While athletic director at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Donovan agreed to an annual salary of $240,000. That was later dropped to $228,000 because of pay cuts, university system spokeswoman Jodi Leong said.

According to UH, the average athletic director salary in the Mountain West Conference is $264,000, while in the Big Ten, Jay’s current conference, it is $521,000.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is the only Division I program in the state. It is a member of the Mountain West Conference for football and Big West Conference for other sports.

Jay also could earn a range of bonuses, including a bonus of one month’s salary if the football team wins its conference, $12,500 if the men’s basketball team appears in the NCAA “Sweet Sixteen,” and $15,000 each year if the athletics program has a year-end balanced budget.

The university system said Jay has been invited to return to Hawaii next week to meet with athletics department staff and university leaders to discuss issues including a starting date.

A news conference is also planned.