Jones not exempt
from disclosure law
WELL, the latest legal ruling has come down and it sounds like UH has finally given up the fight, and it looks like the nuts and bolts of June Jones' new contract may be made public as early as tomorrow.
No, Jones said. That's bad.
In fact it's so bad, he said (and we all saw on TV how angry he is about this) this travesty of a decision will actually end up costing the University of Hawaii money.
Well. Maybe. I'm willing to accept that as a possibility. What do I know? I'm not a lawyer or an economist or a football coach.
So fine. Jones is a sharp guy. Let's go with that, at least until tomorrow, when we find out exactly what the heck he's talking about.
That's not the point.
The point is this: So what? It's more important that the public know how UH conducts its business than to make secret deals that save a few bucks.
Intentions may be innocent, but shortcuts can lead to bad things. And you can't make exceptions to law just because you think you know best.
Your government's motto can't be "trust me."
Two, the more I think about it, I don't really blame Jones for trying. He waited for a legal opinion -- as he said at the opening of camp, when I asked him about it, "well, we'll see" -- and now he'll abide by it.
Hey, he's a football coach. And football coaches, as a group, aren't known for thinking the free flow of open information is a good thing.
The guys on the hook here are Hugh Yoshida and Herman Frazier. These are administrators, men whose job it is to know all the rules. There is no way either the current or former UH athletic director should be surprised here. There is no way they should have made promises they couldn't deliver. There is no way they shouldn't have checked out What Can Be Kept Confidential and What Can't long before it came to this.
There is no way your best official argument for keeping Jones' contract secret should be that you're worried other people in the athletic department might get jealous.
This, despite the recent spin, is not a new rule just enacted by evil legislators to spite Coach Jones. This has been on the books. This is standard. This is a story only because someone either a) didn't do his homework or b) knew the law, but thought this would just slide by.
Neither sounds good to me.
But at least this can die now.
By tomorrow we should have seen the contract, by Tuesday this should have blown over.
By Wednesday we can get back to talking about football, and how good this team is going to be.
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Kalani Simpson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org