BY JIM DOOLEY – The University of Hawaii Intercollegiate Athletics Office lacks proper controls for handling cash and ticketing to certain events and activities, an internal audit has found.

The audit was ordered after the university lost a $200,000 deposit on an Athletics Department fundraising event that was later cancelled amid accusations of fraud.

Among the concerns cited by auditors:

  • Coaches in a variety of sports got to keep excess cash generated by “sports camp” programs they conduct.

“Cash receipts collected in excess of expenses are distributed to coaches as additional compensation,” the report said.

“Camp brochures and applications do not disclose the disposition of camp proceeds,” said the audit.

More than $110,00 was distributed among an undisclosed number of men’s baseball coaches in 2011 and 2012; $55,000 to men’s basketball coaches; $82,000 to football coaches; and $106,000 to women’s volleyball coaches, according to the report.

Lesser amounts were shared among coaches conducting other camps.

  • The Athletics Office kept incomplete records on complimentary tickets issued for athletic events.

“Approximately 8,600 complimentary season tickets … were issued annually during the fiscal years ended June 30, 2012, 2011 and 2010,” the audit reported.

The tickets were valued at $1.3 million and some that were given to university employees were not accompanied by IRS reporting forms.

The university should “evaluate the propriety” of these arrangements and do a better job of reconciling ticket approvals with ticket usage, the audit recommended.

  • Some automobile dealerships received complimentary tickets in return for providing “courtesy cars” to unidentified coaches.

“During fiscal years 2012 and 2011, 26 courtesy cars were provided to coaches and the UHM Athletics Director,” the report said.

The cars were supplied by automobile dealerships in return for approximately 600 annual season tickets, according to the report.

The coaches were responsible for maintaining and insuring the vehicles.

“UHM Athletics should consider reviewing and maintaining a copy of courtesy car agreements (if any) signed by UHM Athletics personnel to ensure that UHM Athletics and the University are not exposed to any liability,” said the report.

  • The UH Manoa athletics office printed and sold event tickets for other UH-related programs and for non-profit organizations without proper or complete written agreements.

And the auditors found “inconsistent treatment and handling of facility use arrangements (waiving of fees, billing and collection of rent and out-of-pocket expenses),” the auditors said.

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com