NCAA hits Hawaii with one-year postseason ban

The Hawaii men's basketball team has received a one-year postseason ban for next season and a loss of two scholarships over the following two seasons after former coach Gib Arnold was found to have violated ethical conduct rules, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

In addition, the Rainbow Warriors, who have gotten off to a 7-1 start this season, will be on probation for three seasons.

The NCAA said an investigation found Arnold failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and also provided false or misleading information. As a result, Arnold will receive a three-year show-cause penalty through Dec. 21, 2018.

The NCAA approved a $10,000 fine that the university previously imposed on itself. Hawaii must also pay a penalty equaling 1 percent of the basketball program's budget over the previous three years.

Hawaii athletic director David Matlin told reporters attorneys are reviewing the decision but the university doesn't plan to appeal. He said the athletic department added a staff position to focus on rules education, and has increased efforts to inform boosters of the rules and make student-athletes more aware of them.

He voiced confidence in the basketball program improving under Eran Ganot, who was hired as the new head coach in April.

"While we are disappointed with the postseason ban, and the impact on current student-athletes and our great fans, we accept the penalties and continue to move forward with Eran Ganot at the helm,'' Matlin said.

Hawaii has been under investigation since March 2014, after the school reported a former assistant men's basketball coach altered and submitted a fraudulent financial document on behalf of a recruit.

Arnold's attorney, James Bickerton, said in an email that his client was pleased the NCAA found no Level 1 violations -- the most serious of the association's four tiers of infractions -- as he had been saying.

Bickerton said the NCAA accepted Arnold's testimony on events and rejected the testimony of his main accusers on the factual points he disputed. The NCAA also recognized Arnold was poorly supported by the university's compliance department, the email said.

The university fired Arnold in October 2014 amid the investigation. But Arnold filed a grievance against the school with the state government employees union, claiming that the university had violated his 2011 contract by firing him without cause.

The university sued Arnold for fraud and negligence and asked the court to weigh in on the grievance. It ultimately agreed to a $700,000 settlement, which included paying Arnold $500,000 over three years and $200,000 to his attorneys.

The school previously announced it was forfeiting 36 wins between 2012 and 2014 for using ineligible players. Arnold is currently a scout with the Boston Celtics.

Arnold coached Hawaii for four seasons, compiling a 72-55 record, before he was removed as coach.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.