Donovan's UH leave the talk of the town

Published On: Jul 12 2012 07:26:51 PM HST

The University of Hawaii investigation continues into $200,000 allegedly paid to a talent agency for a Stevie Wonder concert fundraiser that turned out to be bogus.

It was the talk amongst UH students and the talk of the town on Thursday.

"I think it's really unfortunate and bad that it happened to UH.  I hope they get their money back," said UH student Sophia Kennedy.

Students on the Manoa campus said they were concerned about the money -- $200,000 paid to a middle man for a concert fundraiser for UH Athletics.

Tickets were already on sale for an August 18 Stevie Wonder concert.  The problem was, the concert was never authorized by any of Wonder's agents.

UH Athletics Director Jim Donovan and Stan Sheriff Manager Rich Sheriff have both been placed on leave of absence with pay during the investigation.

Sport talk show host Bobby Curran says it was the talk on his ESPN 1420 show Thursday morning.

"It was pretty big.  It was pretty steady for a good hour.  It was tough to get in," said Curran.  "We have three phone lines.  When one call ended, there was another to replace it."

Curran said some sympathized for Donovan.  Others asked, "How?"

"People had questions on what the processes are.  Can one person without approval get their hands on $200 grand?" said Curran.

UH officials say a third-party investigation will examine the university's policies and practices to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Meanwhile, students, recognizing a terrible situation, wonder what will happen if the university doesn't get its money back.

"Part of our tuition includes an athletics fee every year," said UH student Alee-a Blanco.  "So I hope that because of the situation that they don't try to take the money to recover what was lost or increase our fees."

The FBI will only say it has been contacted by UH officials.


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