Awaiting Wonder Blunder Answers
In the wake of the Wonder Blunder, there are more questions than answers early in the investigation. The first and most obvious question is, will UH be able to recover the $200,000 it wired to a bank account in Florida?
Many of the other questions will relate to policy and procedures, and point to some of the difficulties in administering a large modern-day athletics program. It’s hard not to feel for athletic director Jim Donovan. Anybody who knows Donovan knows that he loves the University and has these last 30 years. With his contract nearing conclusion, and wanting to earn an extension, it is easy to see how the dangled carrot of a revenue-raising concert would have tremendous appeal.
This is not to excuse what appears to have been recklessness or a failure to practice due diligence with UH funds. While the results of this foray have been disastrous, resulting in the indefinite leave for Donovan and Sheriff Center manager Rich Sheriff, it is not necessary to re-invent the wheel. There are many strengths in the athletic department, and now vice president Rockne Freitas steps in to try to maximize those, while sorting out the ways UH athletics can continue to improve.
There is a solid foundation here and many challenges ahead. Framing the terms by which athletics are considered an integral part of the university would be a valuable first step.