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Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

Ferd's Words

When Fresno State and Southern Methodist tee it up Monday in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, it will mark the first meeting of once-upon-a-time conference opponents in eight seasons.

Today they’ll introduce new University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay to the public, his staff, coaches and parking space.

It was 2000 and the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle as it prepared for the upcoming season.

FRESNO, Calif. » University of Hawaii assistant football coach Tony Tuioti was asked about “The Speech” on Friday — and it was not the first time this week.

When things are going bad, one of University of Hawaii football coach Norm Chow's favorite lines is, "nobody is going to feel sorry for us." It is a statement meant to rally the Warriors around themselves.

If you peer closely at a section of the sidewalk behind the Duncan Athletic Complex at Fresno State, you can make out a message long ago scratched in the cement.

We’ve already seen Nick Rolovich against his alma mater here. For his next coming out, maybe we see him take on his mentor, June Jones, at Aloha Stadium?

In a game where their Colorado State opponents wore orange and much of the sparse Hughes Stadium crowd of 16,573 came similarly attired, the fright was all the Warriors' doing. Or, more exactly, undoing.

With 38 seconds left in a 2-point exhibition game the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team was desperately trying to hold onto, senior Zane Johnson wrapped a brotherly arm around freshman point guard Shaquille Stokes.

The University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball team brought in eight recruits for this season, but what figures to be the biggest addition will spend it on the bench.

Does membership in the Mountain West Conference come with a money-back guarantee?
If you are the University of Hawaii, that is not only the $650,000 question but should be reason to begin consulting with counsel.

If the University of Hawaii was still somehow wrestling with what to do with head coach Greg McMackin’s request for a contract extension, this should have decided it once and for all.

When Tim Chang set the NCAA career record for passing yardage in 2004, it seemed a mark likely to endure for decades. And a lot of people said as much, including then-University of Hawaii head football coach June Jones, who predicted it would remain on the books at least "45 years."

Legend has it that at their final Western Athletic Conference football media day before bolting for the then-Pac-8, Arizona and Arizona State found themselves publicly chided as "(bleeping) turncoats."

On the way to the Holiday Bowl in 1992, visionary athletic director Stan Sheriff began exploring the then-radical idea that the University of Hawaii could bring radio broadcasts of its sports teams in-house instead of contracting out the rights.

Some of the keenest minds of our time — the Western Athletic Conference football coaches and the intrepid media who cover them — have weighed in, and Thursday at the WAC Football Media Preview in Las Vegas, the conference office will reveal that annual summer conversation piece — the preseason polls.

The day in April that the University of Hawaii-Hilo announced it was suspending its cross-country program due to budget cuts, coach Jaime Guerpo said he "mourned."

In these bottom-line days, how many people do you know with a strong public mandate behind them for the awarding of a new, multi-million dollar annual salary deal?

In Manoa they wait anxiously and with fingers crossed to see if basketball recruits Gerry Blakes and Dillon Biggs will come up with the requisite academic records to be eligible to play for the University of Hawaii this season.

When the members of Punahou School's class of 2010 listed their post-graduation destinations for the Punahou Bulletin, there was the usual sprinkling of Ivy League schools — Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc.

Where there is Abby Wambach, there is a will and a way.
If the United States succeeds in winning its first Women's World Cup in 12 years Sunday, it will be because Wambach has willed it there.

Once more, it seems, Dennis Franchione has come back to haunt the University of Hawaii football team.

If the University of Hawaii is to be a “second chance,” as quarterback Robert “Tate” Forcier has termed it, think of it also as a seventh or eighth one for the “QB Force” as the family website, qbforce.com, bills itself.

Of all the things the Bowl Championship Series thinks it ought to be concerned about these days, 53-year-old Mark Shurtleff proselytizing on the beach in Kona probably wasn’t on the list.

Officially, pitcher Brandon League began this baseball season as what the Seattle Mariners politely referred to as their "interim closer."

For the moment, statements from the University of Hawaii athletic department are largely being couched in phrases such as "the numbers are trending ..." and "it is still early, but ..."

Welcome to the year of breathing a little easier for the University of Hawaii football team.

A week ago Mark Rolfing was creatively charged up and seeking a way to get golf’s hottest property, Rory McIlroy, to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in January.

Dodger blue?
There’s a whole new meaning to the phrase for a franchise that has never felt the blues like this — and it has little to do with the uniforms.

Ninety-year-old boxing trainer Al Silva thought his hearing had deserted him again.
What his ears had just told him didn't compute with what his disbelieving eyes and astonished mind were saying.

Joining the Big West Conference was supposed to eventually open some recruiting doors for the University of Hawaii baseball team.

For all the comparisons being drawn between Tiger Woods and golf’s new poster player, Rory McIlroy, here’s one you’d hate to see actually be on the mark:

They close the books on the current fiscal year at the University of Hawaii in 11 days, which means the hunt for small change under and around the sofa cushions is on in the athletic department.

It isn't the rat-a-tat-tat collisions of his twice-operated upon hands against the duct-taped heavy bag that tell Brian Viloria he's been around boxing a long time.

For nearly 20 years in the "old" Western Athletic Conference, the blue of Brigham Young University made University of Hawaii fans see red.

Miami, Kansas State, Washington, Arizona, Auburn, Montana, Southern California, San Diego State, the University of San Diego, San Jose State and, now, Hawaii — are we leaving anybody out?

Each year June Jones invites George Killebrew to play in the June Jones Foundation Golf Tournament on the Neighbor Islands and, invariably, Killebrew accepts with one proviso.

Chaminade University announced the hiring of Eric Bovaird as its new men's basketball coach Monday and then, you suspect, officials immediately crossed their fingers.

The 114 longest days in University of Hawaii athletic history were the anxious ones between the time Fresno State and Nevada announced they were joining Boise State in the Mountain West last summer and the conference finally inviting the Warriors on Dec. 10, 2010.

NFL owners have been hearing for many months that they are a collection of miserly millionaires and blood-sucking billionaires.

The odds are daunting and the competition fierce where University of Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz will soon tread.

People will tell you that Jerry Carrillo, the newly-appointed Chaminade University men’s basketball coach, is definitely one driven guy.

Until last year about this time, the Ohio State football team’s deepening NCAA problems, such as the ones that led to Terrelle Pryor’s departure Tuesday, would have presented a considerable opportunity for the University of Hawaii.

To the list of things for the University of Hawaii and its fans to get used to in the transition to the Mountain West Conference next year you can now add …

Once again, you’ve got to hand it to Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Not the gleaming Larry O’Brien Trophy, emblematic of the NBA championship. Not yet, anyway. Not, after their antics in Game 2.

The wide-eyed youngster of, maybe 7 or 8 years in age, warily contemplated the empty pair of Sasquatch-sized sneakers before him, not sure what to make of something so outrageous, as their owner looked on from afar.

Jim Tressel wasn't just another college coach. He told us so. He peddled the message of integrity and honor along with a series of inspirational books such as “The Winners Manual For the Game of Life” and “Life Promises For Success: Promises From God On Achieving Your Best” while touting doing “the right thing.”

It is funny, Army Maj. Shawn Fernandez will tell you, more with a sense of appreciation than humor, how much even the smallest reminders of home can mean when you are stationed in Afghanistan.

University of Hawaii volleyball coach Dave Shoji is looking forward to welcoming the biggest, brightest and, undoubtedly, most noticeable addition to the Rainbow Wahine program.
All 11 tons.

“I think Olin knows that he’s wanted. It’s not really even a question.” — Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, Feb. 25

The University of Hawaii and Brigham Young University signed an agreement last week intended to keep them playing each other in football almost annually through 2020.

Fifteen months ago when Howard Karr rose at a University of Hawaii Board of Regents meeting to declare that the athletic department should operate “more like a business” there was an immediate hush across the room.

Back in December, when the University of Hawaii announced it would be joining the Big West Conference in 2012, its baseball coach, Mike Trapasso, was the happiest guy on campus.

When Jessica Iwata flied out to right field to conclude the University of Hawaii's stay in the Western Athletic Conference Softball Tournament Thursday in Fresno, Calif., you wonder if the idea of charging for admission to Rainbow Wahine games next season expired with it.

Even with a head set clamped on tight, sportscaster and KHNL station manager Rick Blangiardi did not miss athletic director Stan Sheriff’s terse message during the 1984 University of Hawaii football season opener.

Pearl City High baseball coach Mitchell Yamato leaves for Las Vegas today, but the question is: Did he leave all his good fortune at Les Murakami Stadium last night?

Pearl City High baseball coach Mitchell Yamato shrugged his shoulders scattering droplets of rain at his mud-tinged spikes. "Mother Nature," he sighed, "You can't help it (the rain)."

To do Eddie Klaneski's brand of collision football justice it isn't enough to merely say that you saw him play in the 1990s.

It turns out that along with tropical breezes, the University of Hawaii can pitch Manoa to prospective recruits as the best place to feel the NFL Draft in the future Mountain West Conference, too.

If you want an early read on where the University of Hawaii's negotiations with men's basketball coach Gib Arnold appear to be headed, ponder the significance of July 1, 2011, to the process.

If his time at the University of Hawaii has prepared receiver Greg Salas for anything, it is the wait for an NFL team to call his name these next few expectation-filled days.

Perhaps you remember the TV commercial where the auto mechanic holds up an oil filter saying, “You can pay me now” and the mechanic behind him rebuilding an engine warns, “... or you can pay me later.”

The nation's highest-paid federal employee lives on the East Coast, grew up playing sports in Hawaii and graduated from high school here.

Want to watch the best-executed squeeze play in Major League Baseball?

One of the most noteworthy things about University of Hawaii baseball coach Mike Trapasso’s milestone 300th victory the other day was the lack of fanfare that accompanied it.

An in-state athletic scholarship at the University of Hawaii-Manoa is worth exactly $17,681.40 this year.

Federal prosecutors yesterday finally did what a lot of major league pitchers struggled with and got all-time home run leader Barry Bonds rung up.

You could read the salary adjustment headed University of Hawaii softball coach Bob Coolen's way as a reward for work well done.

Twelve years ago newly arrived University of Hawaii football coach June Jones dared us to dream about the Warriors really throwing deep.

The NCAA Tournament is called the “big dance” but not just for the reasons you might think.

For all the decades of University of Hawaii sports on television, the mainstay play-by-play voices who have brought them to us have been few. You’ve got Jim Leahey now and nearly forever, it seems, but also back, back, back in the day, Mel Proctor, Hank Greenwald, Gary Sprinkle, Joe Moore ...

As he packed boxes yesterday for this month's move to Hawaii, the incoming president of Hawaii Pacific University said the goal for the Sea Warriors is "to be as good in Division II as Butler is in Division I."

To glimpse wide receiver Darius Bright go up and over frustrated defensive backs to make catches and then bolt down the sideline this spring is to appreciate the luxury he was for the University of Hawaii football team last season.

When Utah State began spring football practice last week, its coach, Gary Andersen, caught himself wishfully hallucinating.

To put what Brigham Young University-Hawaii is attempting to do today in the NCAA Division II men's basketball tournament into perspective.

After a whirlwind first year as head coach at the University of Hawaii, a leisurely, kick-back European vacation would probably look pretty good to Gib Arnold right about now.

The Brigham Young-Hawaii men’s basketball team spent part of yesterday afternoon visiting DeBerry Elementary School in Springfield, Mass., talking about the importance of education with the children.

You don't suppose it really was, as officials maintain, a coincidence that on the day the Western Athletic Conference revealed its 2011 football schedule, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl also trumpeted the date and time of its game, do you?

The old basketball coach was a once-upon-a-time assistant to John Wooden at UCLA and, on his own, won 148 games and took a team to the NCAA's Elite Eight.

Barely had Oceanic Time Warner Cable finished telling us that Tuesday night's University of Hawaii basketball game was being shown "only on OC 16" when three "K-5" logos popped up slot machine-like on the revolving courtside signage.

After the debacle with June Jones' contract, you would hope the University of Hawaii would be very proactive — and protective — about securing the services of its coaches.
But, you might be disappointed.

We're No. ...101?
You won't likely hear that chant rising from many rooting sections this month. Nobody waves oversized foam fingers before the TV cameras in that number.

When Darrel "Mouse" Davis was heading back here for yesterday's opening of University of Hawaii spring football practice, a friend suggested a place for him to stay.

So palpable was the tension between Riley Wallace and Gib Arnold 11 months ago that a group of concerned coaches at the NCAA Final Four sought a neutral party to sit between them as a human Switzerland, lest some of the elbows being thrown not be confined to the court.

A show of hands, please, from all those who believed in October that the University of Hawaii men's basketball team would go into its final regular-season game with a chance at flip-flopping last year's 10-20 record to 20-10.

When Hawaii's Wally Yonamine initially went to Japan to play professional baseball, friendly faces from home were as rare as loco mocos. But within two years, teammates on the Yomiuri Giants suggested, probably only half tongue-in-cheek, that Yonamine no longer needed to return home to see his friends because he was importing all of them to Japan.

You imagine the late Patsy Mink would enjoy the deep irony of her induction into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame tonight as much as the accolades.

The University of Hawaii men's basketball team got a milestone victory last night, and the most encouraging part about it was the Rainbow Warriors made it look easy.

This is the senior week that forward Bill Amis thought might never be his.
It is the college career that seemed a reach too far, in a place even more distant.

We've known since he set foot on the Stan Sheriff Center court three months ago in a powerful debut that forward Joston Thomas was capable of putting up big points for the University of Hawaii men's basketball team.

The return of Dick Tomey to the University of Hawaii as an assistant football coach this week has touched off a wave of Rainbows-era nostalgia.

In the tattered, shoestring budget world of college baseball, the University of Hawaii opens its season tonight against the equivalent of a Fortune 500 team.

In his last official appearance at the University of Hawaii before leaving to become head football coach at Arizona, a tearful, emotion-choked Dick Tomey vowed "... someday, when it is all over, we'll come back."

On Valentine's Night, leave it to the University of Hawaii's Miah Ostrowski to give from the heart.

Somewhere up there, you imagine, the late Stan Sheriff, a former University of Hawaii athletic director, is shaking his head, pawing the clouds and tossing out a few choice words right about now.

Oceanic Time Warner Cable says it plans to begin a University of Hawaii channel, perhaps as soon as this fall, dedicated to being "all things UH."
Although a UH spokesman said the project "remains in the formative stage," we have learned discussions include offering a lot more than just the school's athletic events to subscribers.

Has there ever been a plumper goose or an egg more golden in sports than the National Football League right now?

Sometimes after a parent-teacher conference, but more often when a Super Bowl rolls around, the question comes up:
"Mr. Gerela," high school students inquire of their teacher, "do you really have three Super Bowl rings?"

At 7 a.m., when Juda Parker, Paulay Asiata and K.T. Tuumalo raised their pens to sign national letters of intent to attend the University of Colorado, it was 68 degrees outside the Sheraton Waikiki, where the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance ceremonies were held.

There was a point in the second half of Saturday night's basketball game when members of the University of Hawaii bench looked up at the Stan Sheriff Center crowd as if wondering where the rising din was coming from.


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