Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, March 18, 1999

R A I N B O W _ F O O T B A L L

VonAppen problems
mentioned in SI

The squabble between the former
Hawaii football coach and the UH
administration will get
some national publicity

By Paul Arnett


Fred vonAppen's tumultuous relationship with the University of Hawaii and Gov. Ben Cayetano will be mentioned in this week's Sports Illustrated.

The former Hawaii head football coach spoke with an SI reporter earlier this week about his pending lawsuit against the Board of Regents. The short article will appear in the Scorecard section of the national sports magazine.

''He was a nice guy, who wanted to know about the Cayetano dinner, the one we decided not to attend,'' vonAppen told the Star-Bulletin last night. ''He also wanted to know if Honolulu Community College had an athletic department. I told him it didn't.

''I think it's significant that they want to print an article. I'm not sure what his point of view will be, but it's the kind of publicity I would think Hawaii would have wanted to avoid.''

Last week, vonAppen filed a breech of contract suit against Hawaii for failure to pay the benefits portion of his contract. Von Appen attorney Guy Sibilla believes he can prove the Hawaii athletic department intended to pay vonAppen's yearly television and radio income of $50,000 through the duration of his three-year contract.

UH president Ken Mortimer can't talk about the case, but did concede that the attorneys from both sides were discussing the matter. VonAppen saw Mortimer's comments last night on television, but declined to respond to the president's remarks about how he and vonAppen are still good friends.

''I will say this, it's business, not personal,'' vonAppen said. ''That's been our point all along. Now, it's in the hands of the attorneys and all we can do is wait to see where they take us.''

UH still has two weeks to respond to the suit that claims vonAppen is not only entitled to the base salary of $103,000 a year, but to the $50,000 for the radio and television portion of his contract as well.

''It all comes back to the intentions of the party,'' Sibilla said. ''If they don't want to guarantee it, then they have to say so.''

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