Hawaii basketball coach Gib Arnold fired weeks before season starts

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It's hard to imagine a more difficult way for a basketball program to enter a season.

Hawaii announced Tuesday that it had fired head basketball coach Gib Arnold and assistant Brandyn Akana.

"These painful but critical steps are being taken in an effort to strengthen our athletics program and to do right by our student-athletes and students in general," said Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay, according to CBS Sports.

Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman also said: "We are committed to setting the best possible  examples for our players -- not only on the field of sports but in life."

Hawaii Through and Through

Arnold spent four seasons with the Warriors, leading them to a 33-31 overall record. However, he had more success in recent seasons, posting a 20-11 record in the Big West last season.

He was a hometown kind of player, having been named Hawaii's Gatorade Player of the Year during his high school career. His father, Frank, had also served as the University of Hawaii's head coach from 1985 to 1987.

Overall, Arnold seemed like a great fit for the school. But certain concerns away from the court were enough to sink his career there even as it was just starting to show signs of major promise.

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NCAA investigation

Arnold and staff had been under scrutiny since March. College sport's governing body was looking into a self-reported violation in which "a men's basketball coach submitted an altered document that was essential for admissions purposes."

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser also reported that Arnold will be replaced by associate head coach Benjy Taylor, and perhaps even a former coach will come out of retirement to help for the rest of the season.

That would be Riley Wallace, who served 20 years as Hawaii's coach and led the Warriors to nine of its 12 all-time postseason appearances. 

No NCAA sanctions have been announced yet and the firing of the team's head coach may be enough to keep their from being too harsh of a punishment. Hawaii will play its first exhibition game against Hawaii Pacific on Nov. 6, with its season opener on Nov. 14.

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