POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 9, 2010
The University of Hawaii has asked for the assistance of U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, in its bid to secure a conference home for its athletic program.
"(UH) reached out to the senator and he stands ready to help," said Peter Boylan, Inouye's press secretary.
Neither Boylan nor UH officials revealed specifics of what Inouye was asked to do, but the senator reportedly recommended that UH come up with a plan for its conference future and a strategy to get there, according to people at the school.
Three members of UH's present home, the Western Athletic Conference, have left in the last three months, throwing into question the continued viability of the WAC for UH, which is in its 32nd year of membership.
Boise State will join the Mountain West Conference in 2011 and Fresno State and Nevada will follow in 2012.
That would leave the WAC with six members and has prompted UH to look at its options. Athletic director Jim Donovan said they include remaining in the WAC, joining another conference or going independent in football.
Inouye, a UH alumnus (1950), and his wife, Irene, took part in the ceremonial pregame coin flip prior to last Thursday's nationally televised loss to Southern California. He met with UH officials before the game and sat in UH chancellor Virginia Hinshaw's box during it.