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McMackin dances around controversy

By Stephen Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 2:25 a.m. HST, Jul 27, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY » In a presentation devoid of his usual folksy charm, Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin yesterday delivered a just-the-facts update of his Warrior football team during his segment at the Western Athletic Conference media preview.

McMackin spoke of the quarterback situation (a list of four top candidates will be pared to two after the first week of training camp), the rebuilt defense and the goal of winning a WAC title.

Perhaps mindful of last year's controversial speech involving Notre Dame, McMackin stuck to the script, assembled neatly in a binder he carried to the podium.

"I thought he did a good job," said UH athletic director Jim Donovan, who watched from the back of the room. Donovan was the only athletic director to attend the meet-the-press event.

McMackin was his usual jovial self during breakfast, offering handshakes and hugs to players, coaches and WAC officials. Learning that two players at his table were from the University of Idaho, McMackin shared stories of his time there as an assistant coach.

But he offered no anecdotes during his speech-question-answer session. He used only two-thirds of his allotted 30-minute period.

During his presentation, he said:

» Assistant coach Tony Tuioti recently went on a recruiting trip to New Zealand. He was evaluating rugby players with the potential to play on the offensive line.

» It will be the last picture show for the Warriors. The night before every game, the Warriors attended a movie. But because of budget constraints, it was decided to eliminate that ritual. McMackin said none of the cutbacks will impact the Warriors' preparation for games.

Moore's dad will miss trip

Not all Boise State fans are happy with the Broncos' move to the Mountain West Conference next year.

Western Athletic Conference teams alternate sites each year. Last year, the game between Hawaii and Boise State was played in Aloha Stadium.

Bronco quarterback Kellen Moore's father did not travel to the game. He figured he could make his first trip to Honolulu for his son's senior year in 2011.

When it was announced the Broncos would be leaving behind the WAC (and UH), Moore received a text from his father.

Moore's mother, who attended last year's game, then sent to her husband's phone a picture message from her stay in Hawaii.

"He's not happy about that," Moore said.

Players can be easy prey

Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle said it is "embarrassing" for an agent to try to give money illegally to a student-athlete.

Enderle said players with limited financial resources are vulnerable to unethical agents.

"Whenever there's money, it's easy to make poor decisions, especially for a college student who doesn't have a lot of money," Enderle said. "People like to think the college life is easy. You have your tuition paid for. You have your books paid for. What more could you possibly need? They forget how much we have to eat. I don't know about some schools. We don't get fed training table every day. We have to buy groceries. When stuff like that comes into play, it's easy to make a poor decision."

Enderle said the final decision rests with the player.

"You still have to have a lot of integrity," he said. "You're in the media. The decisions you make are going to affect a lot of people."

Kaepernick not pro ready

Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick said there was no doubt he was going to return for this senior season.

"I didn't think I was ready for (the NFL)," he said. "I still have something to prove here. I still don't have a championship here. This university has given me a lot. I figure I can give them one more year, and try to help this team and this program do better."

This summer, Kaepernick was accepted into the Manning combine, put on by All-Pro quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning.

Kaepernick said he needed to submit a resume, biography and two letters of recommendation. Boise State's Moore also participated in the camp for quarterbacks.

"Going into things, you always have a chip on your shoulder, coming from a smaller conference," he said. "I felt I had something to prove."

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