Some people are saying the search for a new University of Hawaii athletic director has been tainted by more than 40 UH coaches signing a letter urging that the position be awarded to acting AD Rockne Freitas. But in one sense the opposite is true.
If a majority of UH coaches think we won’t find a better athletic director than the guy now performing thr work, I’d rather know it than not know it. Do we really want people on a search committee who have a preference for an in-house candidate to conceal this preference? Pretend they’re open to anyone when they actually have a strong opinion already? It would have tainted the process had they notsaid so.
The committee has now decided to proceed with a broad search rather than make Freitas the permanent AD by acclamation, as it were. That’s the committee’s call and it accords with a widespread view in human resources that for important posts you cast a wide net. It’s not a no-confidence vote in Freitas, who could still get the post; it’s a vote of confidence in looking at other people as well.
But the committee shouldn’t be surprised if it finds the best candidate is already here. Anyone who remembers Evan Dobelle knows it’s unwise always to assume that people from the mainland know more than local talent.