Non-Concert Upends University

A Stevie Wonder concert that never was has caused some embarrassing repercussions at the University of Hawaii.

The Oahu university was expected to host Wonder at its Stan Sheriff Center Aug. 18, and it put down a $200,000 deposit. Thing is, Wonder hadn’t been informed of the gig.

The university has launched an internal investigation to figure out what went wrong, according to the island’s Star Advertiser.

The GM of the venue, Rich Sheriff, has been put on indefinite paid administrative leave, university officials announced. The concert was to benefit UH Athletics and the event was announced at a press conference by athletic director Jim Donovan. He, too, has been put on leave.

UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple said the school has contacted the FBI about the missing money. Apple added that the investigation will be conducted by an experienced, outside party, according to the paper.

Donovan said July 10 the benefit was canceled after school officials lost track of the deposit, which was given to an athletic fund to book the show. He added UH was trying to recover the money and said he “couldn’t speculate” if the university had been scammed.

UH Vice President Rockne Freitas, a former assistant AD, has been named acting athletic director, the Star Advertiser reported.