BY JIM DOOLEY – The University of Hawaii retained former Attorney General Mark Bennett to perform unspecified legal work in the aftermath of last year’s unsubstantiated allegations of point-shaving in the UH football program.

The contract had a maximum value of $50,000 but Bennett, with the law firm Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher, billed just $3,259, according to UH associate vice president Lynne Waters.

Bennett could not be reached for comment.

Bennett was retained “as a precautionary measure” after an anonymous caller to the University alleged point-shaving in the football program, said Waters.

In point-shaving schemes, the scores of athletic contests are purposely controlled, usually to benefit gamblers who have wagered on the “point spread” of the games.

The University referred the allegation to the Honolulu Police Department, which said the charge was so vague that it couldn’t be investigated.

The National Collegiate Athletics Association, which oversees college athletics programs, said in November that it was “extremely concerned” by the point-shaving charge.

The NCAA has not commented on the matter since then and did not respond to a request for comment today.

Bennett’s firm was retained to “provide advice and counsel in matters relating to the allegations of point-shaving and NCAA compliance violations,” according to UH purchasing records.

“We cannot comment on the substance of the work,” Waters said.

Bennett performed his work in November and December and “the contract is in the process of being closed,” she 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