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Rolovich wants Golden Screwdriver awarded to winner of UH-Fresno State game

  • 940 AM RADIO This Golden Screwdriver Trophy was designed by listeners of ESPN radio 940 after an alleged incident from the teams’ 2002 game in Fresno.
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FRESNO, Calif. >>> University of Hawaii football Nick Rolovich says he is all for the awarding of a Golden Screwdriver Trophy to the winner of the long-running UH-Fresno State series.

The Rainbow Warriors play Fresno State Saturday at Bulldog Stadium in the 49th meeting between the two, the longest with any UH opponent.

“We’ve got to get that (trophy) going,” Rolovich said. “Heck, if we win I’d put that in the trophy case.”

The trophy was the result of a contest held several years ago by ESPN radio 940 in Fresno in which the station asked listeners to design something to symbolize the rivalry between the two schools.

It is in recognition of an alleged incident from the teams’ 2002 game in Fresno. In the aftermath of UH’s 31-21 victory, Hawaii’s first in Bulldog Stadium, head coach June Jones claimed several objects were thrown at the UH sideline, including a screwdriver where he was standing.

Fresno State issued an apology at the time saying, “we believe that a screwdriver was thrown by one of our fans at the University of Hawaii team bench.”

The incident has been an object of controversy ever since, the story taking on a life of its own with many debating whether it actually happened.

When the station first sought to present the trophy Fresno State balked, saying it would not be recognized by the school which, at the time, was trying to clean up an image of belligerent fans.

The radio station has displayed the trophy at its tailgate before UH-Fresno games at Bulldog Stadium.

Rolovich said if the trophy were to be awarded, “It would be fun. That legend will grow and, pretty soon, it’ll be a mechanic jumped out from behind the goal post and was throwing screwdrivers at June like a ninja.”

UH has, in recent years, resumed trophy games with Wyoming, where the Paniolo Trophy is awarded, and Air Force, where the Laurence S. Kuter Trophy is given to the winner.

Rolovich has sought to bring other trophies to long-running UH series and came with with the Paradise Trophy for the winner of UH’s series with Nevada-Las Vegas this year.

Fresno State has the “Old Oil Can” series with San Diego State.

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    • There is a time and place for everything but NOW is not the time to talk about stoopid things when it is clear the team has serious problems with motivation, purpose and cohesiveness. It is a pointless distraction and probably masking some other problems that he is trying so hard to cover up but will become known when the camera and media are constantly trained on them. Sounds like someone is grasping for straws in trying to take control of the situation when he has to challenge another coach to a pass throwing contest, deny players food, carry around a knife, remove benches during a game,….Now is the time to be a professional and have his team similarly act like professionals with purpose. What is it, adult attention deficit disorder?

        • Maybe LESS talking is better right now. Take a page from the Boise head coach when SA sports writers tried to interview Zach Hill to play up his Hawaii/Boise connection and the Boise coach made Hill UNAVAILABLE to comment before or after Boise’s game with Hawaii. The interview would not have made any difference with the outcome of the game but the point is the head coach is eliminating ALL BS distractions that might remotely hinder his team’s purpose to focus and play well and try to win the conference and go to a bowl game. I understand SA is trying so hard to support the team and coach but over saturation of media access to the coach and players might be counterproductive to where they need to be going and cause unnecessary distractions, hurt feelings between players and coaches with fan frustration that is actually turning fan support AWAY from the team. The removal of UH benches in front of UH fans and on national TV is an embarrassment to ALL players and not just the ones who gave up early. It is like a parent punishing their child by shaming them publicly by forcing them to walk around the neighborhood carrying a sign “I wet my bed”. You want to punish players who deserve it, fine, do it away from fans and the media but don’t publicly humiliate ALL players for the few bad ones. Don’t think I am the only one thinking this given the Boise game at Aloha stadium listed 18,000 as the purchased ticket count but many posters at the game guessed more like only 10,000 actually showed up.

  • I miss seeing Pat Hill on the Fresno State sidelines. Coach Hill’s teams always played hard and it was fund when he would go nuts over a disputed call. Coach Hill also h ad that great stare when one of his players committed a penalty. On more than one occasion I saw a player coming off the field after committing a penalty and the player would just look straight ahead knowing full well that the Coach was just giving him the stare. Fresno has not been the same since they fired him.

    • Agreed. He was an awesome coach. There is the story about him going into the UH locker room to give UH players a pep talk and best wishes after UH beat them in the final regular season game to go undefeated. Now THAT’S a class act, rival or otherwise! Hope he is doing well wherever he is!

  • I couldn’t think of a better time to get the team to play for something; something light and humorous, but yet a symbol of success after putting forth a lot of effort to get it.

  • If you’re going to detract from the focus of this academic institution by playing a GAME, at least just concentrate on the game itself and do it well. Too much energy, time and money are already spent on PLAYING rather than studying and education (which is why the University exists in the first place).

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