Even meteorologists would agree on this forecast: The sky is not falling. Not today. Not in five years.
Every reasonably minded person — except for a gloom-and-doom official who seriously needs to be doused back to serenity with a bucket of iced water — knows that University of Hawaii football is not going to be cut. Not now. Not in five years.
Of course, the athletic department needs more money. Of course, it needs help from the Legislature, tourism authority, stadium authority, school officials, and tour-bus drivers who can make, ahem, unscheduled stops at the Ward Centers. And so forth.
If Title IX is a federal law, and non-compliance jeopardizes the entire school’s eligibility to receive federal funding, then the school should find a way to provide more subsidies. Consider it an insurance premium against a potential disaster. Pay a little now, save a lot later.
But these are things we all know. We also know that football is not going to be cut. Here are reminders why:
> UH football makes money. It doesn’t make enough to cover the budgets of every UH sports program, but neither does women’s volleyball. And nobody is suggesting that women’s volleyball is going away. But, yes, football makes money from ticket sales, premium fees, sponsorships. television and radio contracts, and that $50 fee charged to every UH-Manoa student each semester.
> UH football has the potential to make more money. At some point, it will work out better arrangements with Aloha Stadium. It also has earning potential as a money opponent. For all the Big Five’s talk about not wanting to play outside the 65 schools, the math says otherwise. Maybe a little more than half the Big Five teams will have winning records. That means the rest will need non-Big Five opponents to boost records.
> Sure, football has to pay travel subsidies, as much as a combined $700,000 a year for four MWC opponents. Consider it as appearance fees, and it’s not that bad. Besides, one game against a Big Ten opponent covers that bill. UH plays two Big Ten opponents next year.
> Football generates more money on its own than what it receives from the school. Besides, at UH, surpluses are not rolled over into other programs. When UH reduced salaries for the head football coach’s position — from Greg McMackin’s $1.1 annually to Norm Chow’s $550,000 — the psychology department did not get any more ink blots. It is not an either/or situation between athletics and academic programs.
> There’s no outcry for the elimination of football. There’s an outcry for the program to win more games, but not for the sport to be eliminated. Besides, it’s not the athletic department’s call to eliminate a sport. It can make recommendations, like it can recommend contract extensions, but it’s not empowered to wield the ax. It take a little more authority than getting lightbulbs changed.
So, relax. Football is open for business — now and in five years.
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The Warriors picked their captains:
Offense: Left tackle Ben Clarke, center Kody Afusia, running back Joey Iosefa, slotback Scott Harding.
Defense: Nose tackle Moses Samia, defensive end Beau Yap, linebacker Lance Williams, cornerback Ne’Quan Phillips. In addition to those eight captains, defensive end Luke Shawley, quarterback Ikaika Woolsey and kicker Tyler Hadden are on the leadership council.
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It’s moving day at UH.