By Stephen Tsai
A lesson of elections is a lot more money is spent on the campaign than for the position sought. Consider the salaries of the U.S. President ($400,000), Honolulu Mayor ($116,000) and U.S. Senator ($174,000).
In that context, the amount spent in search of a new UH athletic director, while still unnecessarily high, is not unique. It would be simpler just to promote Rockne Freitas from acting AD to permanent AD. He's the best candidate, and I don't even know the identities of the other candidates. Freitas is smart, decisive, and has ties in the business, academic and athletic communities.
What are the alternatives? An AD from a lower-level program? An associate who will have to be coached into using "ohana" in his opening address?
The box is cluttered with cliches. If not Freitas, then let's go outside the box. Consider:
• Peter Carlisle — He ran the prosecutor's office and a city. By extension, he ran the Blaisdell, which puts on concerts and ... well, we know where this is going. Plus, he sorta-sorta looks like Howard Dashefsky, which gives him athletic cred. (Somebody, though, needs to destroy any video of his dance moves at the Kailua Fourth of July Parade.)
• Shawn Ching — He has three UH degrees (including one from the Richardson law school), he knows sports, and people like him.
• Kim Gennaula — UH athletic department is supposed to be a not-for-profit organization — and, yes, it does live up to that label — and who's the leader of Aloha United Way, the state's best-run, not-for-profit organization? In addition, she could help UH edit those on-line videos.