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FERD'S WORDS


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Hawaii may not even get what it’s paying for in MWC

By Ferd Lewis

POSTED:



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.

By this time next month, as many as a third of the nine members that voted UH into the MWC could be headed out the door, potentially leaving the lineup that the Warriors signed an agreement with eight months ago looking very different from the one they will kick off with for the 2012 football season.

Boise State has one foot out on the way to the Big East and is trying to drag MWC member Air Force Academy or ex-member Brigham Young along with it. Meanwhile, UH’s closest upcoming MWC foe, San Diego State, is on bent knee beseeching the Big East to, pretty please, take the Aztecs, too.

Among Boise State’s announced reasons for considering the move in the midst of its inaugural MWC season is, “It is simply not the same conference we first agreed to join,” school president Bob Kustra has said.

Since Boise State signed on, BYU and Texas Christian have jumped ship — or will. Fresno State, Nevada and UH will be added as replacements for 2012.

In other words, there goes the neighborhood.

UH, however, is the only one of the bunch that had to agree to subsidize opponents’ travel costs as a condition of membership. Or “travel cost sharing” as the two-page agreement would prefer it be known.

Whatever you call it, that’s real money for financially pressed UH with the Warriors required to pay teams from California $150,000 each for travel costs, and teams from “outside California” $175,000. That is essentially the amount of a charter flight, while UH is on the hook for 100 percent of its own travel. The concept of “sharing” extending only so far.

With four conference home games a year, that means forking over $600,000-$650,000 for the initial year (2012) with the travel subsidy adjusted annually, according to the contract.

There are no complaints on that score. It isn’t equal, but UH knew that going in and it is what the Warriors pledged to as a condition of membership. Mostly because the MWC, as then-constituted, was seen as more prestigious and advantageous than the WAC. UH will pay lesser travel costs for most of its other sports in the Big West in 2012, but that conference is not expecting membership changes.

But if the MWC substantially changes, then it is a situation UH needs to revisit with the MWC. Especially if, for example, the MWC were to pick up more new members beyond California. Or, if the MWC TV rights fees take a hit.

Travel costs have been a significant consideration in every intercollegiate league UH’s teams have played in, going back to their joining the Western Athletic Conference in men’s sports in 1979 and Big West for women in 1985.

UH eventually won a reversal of the burden of paying WAC travel subsidies in 1996 when that league underwent major change. Of course, the absence of subsidies also contributed to the Warriors not getting an MWC invite in 1999.

The MWC can always adopt a “take-it-or-leave-it” stance now, but if membership changes, UH shouldn’t be shy about at least asking.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@staradvertiser.com or 529-4820.






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amg17 wrote:
We can't even win in the WAC!
on November 8,2011 | 04:14AM
H20 wrote:
We've won in the WAC, this year, not sure what you mean. And didn't we just win a WAC title last year? Has Fresno or Nevada won an outright WAC title like we did in '07? I wonder if their fans don't think they're worthy. And I'm assuming you're a fan since you used "We".
on November 8,2011 | 09:29AM
waianae94 wrote:
Wow. We won ONE outright title in 30 years of membership, years after teams like SDSU, BYU, TCU, etc. left. Not something to really brag about. And last year, we won the WAC because Nevada beat Boise.
on November 9,2011 | 07:46AM
THELASTWORD777 wrote:
Waianae94 - no sense waste your time. Fact and logic have no place in a Homer's thought process.
on November 9,2011 | 09:49AM
THELASTWORD777 wrote:
Waianae94 - no sense waste your time. Fact and logic have no place in a Homer's thought process.
on November 9,2011 | 09:49AM
NITRO08 wrote:
YES WE CAN WIN IN THE WAC AND MOUNTAIN WEST YOU PEOPLE ARE ACTING LIKE CHILDREN. STOP CRYING YES THEY LOSS TO UTAH ST BUT THEY ARE THE ONLY SHOW IN TOWN SO STOP CRYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MOST OF THE COMPLAINERS ARE NOT REAL FANS THEY AREA JUST BAND WAGON FANS. YES I LIKE FOR THE UH TO WIN BUT I STILL STAND BEHIND THEM EVEN WHEN THEY LOSE, IT TAKES A LITTLE LUCK TO WIN ALL THE TIME LIKE 2007. THEY ARE 5 AND 4, JUST RELAX AND ENJOY THE TAIL GATING AND GAME.
on November 8,2011 | 03:53PM
amg17 wrote:
I do enjoy the game, but not mediocrity! I'm very proud to be from HI and want the program to excel. I do understand that recruiting is tough here, but June got it done and continues to do so. It just bothers me when a coach is paid a million dollars and makes excuses for games we should have won.
on November 9,2011 | 03:54AM
THELASTWORD777 wrote:
Why can't you be a good little Homer like NITRO & H20 and just drink your kool aid? Why should we expect excellence when mediocrity will suffice? MacMuffin accepts responsibility, it would be a little much to expect him to win games too. True Sheep, I mean Fans, should follow their coach right over the cliff. I'm sure NITRO & H20 still lament VonAppen's departure. I don't know what's more embarassing for my home State, UH choking vs. Utah State or BJ Penn running out of gas in the 2nd round.
on November 9,2011 | 09:37AM
motoxdad wrote:
Bj"s embarassing? come on now, i can see why your embarassed about Hawaii football, but to through Bj,s name in there is just ludicrous, Bj accomplished things in his career most fighters only dream of. Maybe you should come out and represent hawaii in whatever you do, than be judged.
on November 9,2011 | 04:44PM
THELASTWORD777 wrote:
Moto, you need to READ a little more carefully before you get your panties in a bunch. I quite specifically said - BJ being gassed in the 2nd round was embarrassing. That's not the same as saying BJ is embarassing. I've got nothing but respect and support for BJ as a fighter - and to my financial detriment, I have put money where my mouth is. If you think a professional fighter completely out of gas after 1 round is perfectly acceptable, then that's your opinion. I expected a better showing and was embarrassed that he appeared to again be in poor condition for the fight. And maybe you don't quite get it, but all of us represent Hawaii in whatever we do and anyone can be judged - me and you included. When you step into (or end up in) the public limelight, it comes with the territory.
on November 10,2011 | 09:17AM
THELASTWORD777 wrote:
Moto, you need to READ a little more carefully before you get your panties in a bunch. I quite specifically said - BJ being gassed in the 2nd round was embarrassing. That's not the same as saying BJ is embarassing. I've got nothing but respect and support for BJ as a fighter - and to my financial detriment, I have put money where my mouth is. If you think a professional fighter completely out of gas after 1 round is perfectly acceptable, then that's your opinion. I expected a better showing and was embarrassed that he appeared to again be in poor condition for the fight. And maybe you don't quite get it, but all of us represent Hawaii in whatever we do and anyone can be judged - me and you included. When you step into (or end up in) the public limelight, it comes with the territory.
on November 10,2011 | 09:17AM
bleedgreen wrote:
Hawaii should remain with the WAC. The Mountain West will crumble in time with more teams looking to move to another conference (Air Force, San Diego St) besides Boise who definitely is leaving. So who's gong to be left in the Mountain West? Nevada, Fresno St, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado St, UNLV. I'll take Utah St, San Jose St, New Mexico St, Idaho, LaTech over that bunch. Plus, no need pay travel subsidies.
on November 8,2011 | 04:58AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Hawaii might not even have the privilege of paying travel costs to MWC members. Mergers are the fad. Any league with Hawaii will be looked at as a league with a lot of dead weight. Maybe not true, but that will be the perception. Hawaii ought to begin plans for independent status. It's already paying travel subsidies. That's the only way it'll survive.
on November 8,2011 | 05:23AM
Manapua_Man wrote:
Though the MWC deal is turning out to be not as good as it looked, staying in the WAC would have been the worst case scenario. I believe after the dust settles... the WAC will eventually drop div. 1 football and become like the Big West Conference with a focus on basketball, baseball, and other sports. Staying in what will be left of the WAC would have most likely meant the end of football for UH... and make the school go the way of Long Beach St, Pacific, Cal St. Fullerton, etc.
on November 8,2011 | 05:58AM
EyeKea wrote:
The opportunity for a football team to join a BCS conference doesn't come by everyday, and when they do, conferences goes out to look for teams that will bring competitiveness and strenght to their conference. Boise State and TCU with their winning tradition over long periods of time have become commoditites so it's no wonder they are being sought for membership in higher level conferences. The rest the invited schools are merely to fill out the schedule with other higher profile schools like Air Force or BYU. Hawaii has not yet proven to be on the level of any of these schools, they just don't have anything to bring to the dance. This being the case, and having to pay heavy travel subsidies, Hawaii may as well look at going independent. Getting schools to come here and play Hawaii will be a challenge though. We have difficulties finding 5 willing non-conference schools to play us now; to think Hawaii would have to find 12 or 13 schools every year to play us, we may be playing more 1AA schools than 1A.
on November 8,2011 | 06:21AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Here is what we do: Ask the commissioner of the Oahu Interscholastic Association to invite The Hawaii Warriors into their league.
on November 8,2011 | 08:01AM
NITRO08 wrote:
STUPID!!
on November 8,2011 | 03:46PM
akuman808 wrote:
Perhaps coach Torres and his vaunted Red Raiders should exchange with the UH. Kahuku joins the MWC and UH to the OIA! Hah, just kidding Warrior fans, don't get mad be happy!
on November 8,2011 | 09:14AM
allie wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on November 8,2011 | 10:45AM
kailua000 wrote:
MWC is a lateral move with one step up a long flight of stairs. They are not eliete or extra special in anyway shape or form. Stay in the WAC or have the WAC and MWC or WAC and conference USA merge if they want to play different teams. But playing CSU or Wyoming isnt like some big freeking deal. Air Force will be gone, BYU, outta there; Boise, out. The teams left are nothing special
on November 8,2011 | 11:36AM
sports_for_fun wrote:
Agreed!!
on November 8,2011 | 06:57PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
In order to heal wounds, the commissioners of the WAC and the MWC may want to merge and just call themselves the WAC, so that the Warriors would not need to change their uniforms. WAC sounds great, the home of the Warriors. Of course, the Big West was the home of The Rainbow Wahine, until by some unfortunate fate the Rainbow Wahine HAD TO go into the WAC also. Come on Man !!!!!!! Please watch ESPN for Cris Carter's Come on Man !!!!!!
on November 8,2011 | 09:19PM
aiea7 wrote:
Maybe the MWC (new) and WAC should merge with a north-south alignment - with 6 teams in a division. It will still be a mid-major conference but with Hawaii's inability to recruit and inabilityto attract good coaches, it would be ideal.
on November 8,2011 | 08:08PM
THELASTWORD777 wrote:
...but with Hawaii's inability to recruit and inability to attract good coaches... Let's be straight. The inability to recruit is solidly on the shoulders of MacMuffin - but don't worry because he accepts responsibility. The inability to attract good coaches is not quite true. Hawaii has had some very good coaches. The current AD hasn't had much opportunity yet but I believe he could hire some talented coaches. With Hawaii it's just a little more difficult because the coach has to fit the culture.
on November 9,2011 | 09:55AM
THELASTWORD777 wrote:
...but with Hawaii's inability to recruit and inability to attract good coaches... Let's be straight. The inability to recruit is solidly on the shoulders of MacMuffin - but don't worry because he accepts responsibility. The inability to attract good coaches is not quite true. Hawaii has had some very good coaches. The current AD hasn't had much opportunity yet but I believe he could hire some talented coaches. With Hawaii it's just a little more difficult because the coach has to fit the culture.
on November 9,2011 | 09:55AM
hon2255 wrote:
Commish thompson needs to gives us a discount , this MWC conference looking more like a WAC that was.
on November 8,2011 | 09:07PM
waianae94 wrote:
It looks like the WAC is going to end up stronger than the MWC in a few years. Look at how much trouble we are having winning now in our last year! How come we have to pay the other teams, but they don't have to pay us? It's because we were DESPERATE to leave the WAC. No one else wants us. I bet if we asked to remain in the WAC, Benson would have us subsidize the mainland teams' travel costs, too. No-win.
on November 9,2011 | 07:48AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
After finding out that Joe Paterno was making less than McMackin my question is, why are we paying this guy 1.1 million dollars a year? He doesn't even come close to achieving what Paterno has achieved. Scandal aside, I think that Hawaii got a raw deal when he was given the large raise. It seems we kept bumping coaches Cal Lee and Ron Lee when it came time to promote an assistant coach to head coach. I'm sure that either of these two fine coaches would have done just as good a job and willing to take half the pay. It would have been a win-win situation because we would be employing local coaches and not a coach from the mainland. And I am sure that because these two coaches are more in touch with the cultures that they would be better at relating with our local athletes. It would also have resulted in our recruiting programs maybe getting some of our local athletes who chose mainland programs instead.
on November 9,2011 | 09:10PM
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