Gib Arnold removed as coach

Gib Arnold has been removed as coach of Hawaii, the university announced Tuesday.

Arnold is out as a result of an NCAA investigation, sources confirmed to ESPN.com. The news of his removal was first reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Assistant Brandyn Akana also has been removed from the staff.

"These painful but critical steps are being taken in an effort to strengthen our athletics program and to do right by our student athletes and students in general," athletic director Ben Jay said in a statement. "We appreciate the work of Gib and Brandyn and wish them both the best in the future."

Arnold, who had one year left on his contract, had been the Rainbow Warriors' coach for the past four seasons, compiling a 72-55 record. He and Akana will remain employed by the university through January, and Arnold will receive a lump sum payment for the remainder of his contract.

Arnold will be replaced on an interim basis by associate head coach Benjy Taylor, Jay told ESPN.com.

Taylor previously was the head coach at Chicago State. Sources told ESPN.com that there also is a chance former Hawaii head coach Riley Wallace could take the reins on a temporary basis.

The NCAA investigation centers around an altered document that aided the process of a player being admitted, sources said.

"I do know we have never paid any players or recruits, never committed any academic fraud, never had an off-court issue involving domestic violence or criminal behavior," Arnold said in a statement Wednesday. "We ran a program the people of Hawaii could be proud of."

"We are committed to setting the best possible examples for our players not only on the field of sports but in life. Athletics Director Jay has my full support in these steps that will strengthen the long-term future of our athletics program and our university," chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman said in a statement.

Hawaii finished 20-11 last season and 9-7 in the Big West. The Rainbow Warriors were picked fifth in the preseason poll, and they return all-league forward Isaac Fotu and add Missouri transfer Negus Webster-Chan.

They open the regular season at home Nov. 14 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.