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Monday, March 30, 2015         

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In a 1996 soccer match against nationally ranked Brigham Young, Amanda Paterson fielded 36 shots on goal, a figure that still stands as a record siege for University of Hawaii goalkeepers.

The snow was deep and the lock was frozen on the car door a November 1978 morning when sportscaster Mel Proctor was preparing to go to work at Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP.

On one hand UH is being told it may be forced to move its most lucrative Mountain West Conference football home game this season, an Oct. 31 meeting with the Air Force Academy, from Saturday night to a Thursday or Friday night to accommodate television.

One of the first things the new University of Hawaii athletic director, whoever it might be, needs to do is take charge of the men's basketball schedule. With both hands. Because the schedule is failing the Rainbow Warriors. Miserably.

In 2002, take-it-to-the-bank word around town was that the University of Hawaii athletic director’s job was Dick Tomey’s. Right up until the time that UH President Evan Dobelle saw Herman Frazier’s Olympic medalist resume, that is.

Can we please have a show of hands from all the folks confident in the University of Hawaii’s ability to wisely select the next athletic director? That’s what we thought.

Big West Conference women's basketball coaches hardly knew what to do with the versatile Shawna-Lei Kuehu coming off the University of Hawaii bench during the regular season.

Sometimes, when the Rainbow Wahine basketball team is on a roll, the band plays and the crowd is wound up, Vince Goo and Nani Cockett will trade a look for which no words are necessary.

Not only are the Rainbow Warriors booked to play three teams that finished the 2014 season among the top 16 -- national champion Ohio State, No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 16 Boise State -- they get to play them all on the road.

The University of Hawaii’s plan to begin advertising the head basketball coaching position is some of the best off-the-court news about the program’s future to emerge from Manoa in a while.

After the University of Hawaii football team had collected the biggest check in its history ($650,000) for a 2008 pummeling at Florida, head coach Greg McMackin expressed relief at the absence of any additional "bounty" games on the schedule.

Larry Little first set foot in Hawaii as coach of the Centenary Gentlemen, but not even a subsequent courtside seat to the most turbulent period in University of Hawaii athletics as the Rainbow Warriors’ basketball coach ever changed the gentleman part.

Gentlemen, start your machinations. If Marcus Mariota's breeze through the NFL Combine this past week did anything, it opened up rather than limited the possibilities of where the former Oregon quarterback could land when the NFL Draft runs its course.

For Hawaii sports fans around my age, the name Al "Eki" Espinda is mostly associated with Farrington football. But with Espinda's death last week at age 78, his classmate Paul Wysgard reminds us that Espinda was also an outstanding all-around athlete.

Job interviews can be torturous events even at entry-level positions. Now, imagine auditioning for one when the stakes are a $12 million to $20 million contract, which is, in essence, what Marcus Mariota is doing at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis

As a point guard at Cal State San Bernardino in the early 1990s Laura Beeman set several school season and career records for assists.

When the University of Hawaii women's basketball team chose to open its season with a Colorado road swing in November, the schedule was viewed as challenging. And when the Rainbow Wahine followed it up with games against three nationally ranked teams, it looked ambitious.

Superman and Captain America were upstaged by four members of the Fabulous Five on Superhero Night at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday — and then by the current Rainbow Warriors, who were nearly down to just five players themselves.

The Board of Regents Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics quickly agreed Thursday it wasn't interested in eliminating any University of Hawaii athletic teams, at this time.

After a particularly gnawing loss at the Stan Sheriff Center one night, Fresno State basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian rolled his big hound-dog eyes and sighed, "this league would be a lot more fun if I didn't have to come over here every year."

Reporters wanted to talk about his No. 1-ranked North Carolina basketball team, but coach Dean Smith was still going on about the night's exuberant crowd. He was asked about UNC's Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace and the 88-76 victory over Hawaii.

If the University of Hawaii's attorneys have any spare time these days, the athletic department could soon be asking for it. Beyond dealing with NCAA allegations and looking for loopholes in Gib Arnold's contract, there is the potential matter of the University of Kansas.

One by one the cream of the crop of Hawaii high school football players signed National Letters of Intent Wednesday morning to attend their choice of colleges.

The quick and easy conclusion as the University of Hawaii athletic department has seemingly wandered from one crisis to another is that Manoa is in need of more helping hands at the top.

Saturday the University of Hawaii athletic department will pay tribute to the late Judy Mosley-McAfee, the most dominating basketball player in the school's history.

NFL teams now face a version of the question that confronted University of Washington opponents this year: What to do with Hau‘oli Kikaha? The Kahuku High graduate plays in Saturday's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. (11 a.m. NFL Network), and how — and where — he performs will likely go a long way toward helping determine where he is taken in April's NFL Draft.

The University of Hawaii football team went 3-8 and lost its spring game to an alumni team, whereupon the coaches quit and 33 players threatened to leave.

If there is one thing the University of Hawaii has a curious propensity to do above all else, it is negotiate against itself.

In astrophotographer/PGA Tour pro Jimmy Walker's diverse world there is wonder in using his $30,000 telescope to gaze upon Orion's Sword, the Andromeda Galaxy, Iris Nebula and Antares in the darkened skies. Sunday in broad daylight there was another remarkable sighting.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says quarterback Cardale Jones could play in the NFL. Unfortunately for the University of Hawaii, Jones said he has no plans to try anytime soon.

As the waning seconds on the clock high above the end zone at AT&T Stadium ticked down on the foregone conclusion of a 42-20 loss to Ohio State, quarterback Marcus Mariota looked at his University of Oregon linemen, and they looked back at their leader's eyes.

Sixteen seconds. The time it takes to send a text. To pour a beer. Or, maybe, decide a national championship today. It is also the time in which quarterback Marcus Mariota and the University of Oregon football team can line up and get an offensive play off.

Ohio State's Cardale Jones gingerly folded his 6-foot, 5-inch, 250-pound frame into a telephone-booth-sized interview stand Saturday at the College Football Playoff National Championship media day and somebody marveled at how quarterbacks have grown.

Not that there was much likelihood of Marcus Mariota's head getting too big for one of the custom, Nike-designed helmets, but he underlined where his focus is this week.

As Oregon and Ohio State arrive in North Texas Friday night for Monday's inaugural College Football Playoff Championship Game there will be no pause to lament the passing of its predecessors, the late Bowl Championship Series, Bowl Alliance and Bowl Coalition.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, it turns out, did not have this football season figured out. He thought, in his heart of hearts, it would be next season's team that really went places such as, well, Arlington, Texas, the site of Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Imagine the old coach stirring from his slumber Thursday morning, awakened by the rays of 2015's first sunlight reaching into his Manhattan Beach, Calif., home instead of the pre-dawn din of an alarm clock for once.

Now that wasn't so difficult, was it? Watching Rice thoroughly dominate Fresno State 30-6 in the Hawaii Bowl Wednesday night it was hard to imagine how the Bulldogs could have won the West Division of the MWC this year, much less somehow found their way into the postseason.

When Norm Chow was announced as the UH football coach in 2012, ESPN Events' Pete Derzis said, "Tell Norm we here in Charlotte (N.C.) will be his biggest fans." Chow has yet to deliver the hoped-for revival. The Fresno State and Rice match will be the fourth in a row without UH.

Gov. David Ige is scheduled to send his executive budget to the Legislature on Monday and unless the University of Hawaii alum is overflowing with Christmas spirit, it could portend a bleak year for the school's struggling athletic department.

Their nickname is the "Owls" and the last time the Rice University football team appeared in Aloha Stadium it seemed as much an endangered species as its Texas neighbor, the Mexican spotted owl.

In University of Hawaii basketball terms, the definition of "never" is apparently 32 years. We know this because the last time the Rainbow Warriors played Chaminade in Blaisdell Center UH officials tersely vowed to "never play Chaminade here again."

The school announces the resignation of athletic director Ben Jay Dec. 11, and not only hadn't posted the opening as of Wednesday, it still has no announced target date or process by which to name a successor?

If this is Saturday, and you are Marcus Mariota then this must be ... New York? Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday night to pick up the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and Maxwell Award as the College Football Player of the Year, Walter Camp Player of the Year. ...

An announcement of an athletic director search process by January? A new AD selected by mid-2015? Please tell me here we DON'T go again. The first thing that should be evident about the University of Hawaii's athletic model is that it is badly broken.

Tucked away in the Pacific Northwest, the University of Oregon figured it had to make a big splash in 2001 if it wanted quarterback Joey Harrington to have a shot at becoming the school's first Heisman Trophy winner.

They first met on the Saint Louis School football field up on Kalaepohaku, where on a clear day of untethered dreams, it seems you can see forever. Maybe even glimpse the future.

The University of Hawaii football team played its latest road game in 91 years Saturday — and still showed up tardy. Not since 1923, history tells us, had the Rainbow Warriors ventured to the continent this late into the calendar.

Asked to name Fresno State's conference football rivals, senior defensive tackle Tyeler Davison thoughtfully paused before listing Nevada, Boise ... and San Jose State.

If Fresno State someday achieves its avowed goal of domination in the Mountain West Conference and a place at the higher level for its athletic program, it will not have come without ample warning.

An animated Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter, seemingly more pumped up by the second, talked in rising decibels at his Monday press conference about the joyous union of Thanksgiving and football this week.

Questions, questions, questions: UNLV coach Bobby Hauck sounded off on a handful of them on a night when his face was as red as his shirt. Such as: How could Hawaii get off the penultimate play in four seconds in a remarkable 37-35 comeback victory as time expired?

There is growing speculation that these last two Mountain West Conference football games, beginning with Saturday's Hawaii-Nevada-Las Vegas encounter, could be make or break for the head coach.

Stan Sheriff Center, Les Murakami Stadium, Clarence T. C. Ching Athletic Complex, Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex ... and (your name here) Field? You, too, might soon be able to put your name or that of a family member on a piece of University of Hawaii athletics in Manoa.

We know who made the announcement in the recent basketball firings, but the questions of the moment surround who will be calling the next shots in the University of Hawaii's turbulent athletic program

For eight games this season, freshman quarterback Kent Myers was a redshirt, and his only job on game days for Utah State was to signal in plays from the sideline. On Saturday night he got on the field for the first time.

When they knocked on his Makiki door after the 2009 season, there was little doubt what Utah State football coaches saw in Brian Suite. What the 6-foot, 3-inch, 200-pound All-State free safety from Punahou saw in the Aggies was another matter.

We don't yet know who the next men's basketball coach at the University of Hawaii will be, but we see who is willing to stand up and make some necessary calls for the Manoa campus.

Let's get this straight: Norm Chow isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Well, other than on Mountain West Conference road trips to Colorado State, San Jose State and Fresno State, of course.

Remember when the mantra for this new-hope University of Hawaii football season was enthusiastically pledged in one word? When T-shirts proclaimed it from the preseason simply as: "finish."

Nothing against University of Nevada football coach Brian Polian, you understand, but couldn't we get acerbic Chris Ault back here again? At least one more game, for old time's sake.

Nearly 40 years ago a TV commercial for a car dealer opened an NCAA can of worms that would deal the University of Hawaii men's basketball program what became, in essence, a decade-long blow.

Healthy quarterbacks, running backs and inside linebackers aren't the only people the University of Hawaii football team is running out of these days. Paying customers are also in critically short supply.

Manti Te'o no longer walks with a protective boot on his right foot or with a limp, but the pain he feels is evident. For the third time in two NFL seasons a foot injury has forced him to vacate his inside linebacker spot with the San Diego Chargers for a place in rehab.

How, you might wonder, do you lose a school-record 16 road games in a row? Well, the University of Hawaii football team packed an explanation into one painfully revealing 3-hour, 16-minute Reader's Digest version of futility Saturday night.

Inspiration surrounds San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey on a daily basis. Challenges stare at him. It all comes in the form of Marshall Faulk's grace, Ronnie Hillman's elusiveness, George Jones' acceleration ... all the Aztecs greats at the position who seemingly gaze down upon Pumphrey from the walls of the running backs' meeting room.

A glance at the conference standings for University of Hawaii football and Rainbow Wahine volleyball teams prompts a head shaking double take at the moment.

Instead of his career-best 135 yards and a first UH touchdown, the prevailing topic of public conversation has been another back, Joey Iosefa, and his blood-alcohol level early Sunday morning.

One moment University of Hawaii quarterback Ikaika Woolsey was flat on the Aloha Stadium turf writhing on an already sore back after absorbing yet another shot from a defender.

For a frenzied, nearly 20-year period (1970s-1990s) when Hawaii’s football game with Brigham Young rolled around, Thelma P. “Toby” Chow knew to brace for the inevitable.

At each home football game, one of the University of Hawaii's corporate partners is featured as the event sponsor, and the Wyoming game would seem to open some interesting possibilities.

One hundred and six years ago Ikua Purdy did the remarkable — he roped, threw and tied a steer in what reports of the time described as a 56-second blur.

Faster than they can say Jarrett Pekelo Kahanuolaokalani Solomon in Tucson, Ariz., the University of Arizona's redshirt freshman quarterback has emerged on the national scene.

When Kansas fired its football coach, Charlie Weis, Sunday, it wasn't long before the concern was felt 4,000 miles away in Manoa. Not that the University of Hawaii was a big fan of Weis, whose then-Notre Dame team administered a 49-21 thrashing to the Rainbow Warriors in the 2008 Hawaii Bowl.

Early in quarterback Marcus Mariota's stay at Oregon, coach Mark Helfrich gave him a bit of advice that has stuck like Velcro. "He told me to 'just run through all the smoke,' " Mariota said.

If there is a benefit to being the last of the Mountain West's 12 members to open conference play, it is that the University of Hawaii football team has gotten a good long look at what it will be up against when it gets there.

On paper it looked like a win-win situation for the University of Hawaii, the idea of having boosters help fund big-money coaching contracts. But. as with too many things at UH, it hasn't always gone as planned.

For years the University of Hawaii has looked to its most lucrative athletic teams to help underwrite their financially challenged brothers and sisters.

As an offensive lineman at Kailua High in the early 1960s, Bob Richardson thought Surfriders' football coach Joe Kahahawai "seemed like he was six-feet, six inches tall."

There are some jobs where, however talented you might be, convention dictates that the idea is not to be too busy. Scott Harding knows this full well because he has one of them: He is the University of Hawaii's punter.

Bless his heart, Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Clune's mantra is that his unit has to give up one less point than the Rainbow Warriors' offense scores. "If the offense scores 12, we have to hold them to 11, that's our job," Clune resolutely maintained Saturday.

Of all the black-and-gold-clad fans in Folsom Field to root for him and the University of Colorado against Hawaii on Saturday morning, defensive lineman Juda Parker knows there will be a special voice striving to be heard from section 107, row 28.

When doctors removed the kidney from Ma‘ake Kemoeatu that they would transplant to his ailing younger brother Chris they marveled at its size. "About one-and-a-half-times bigger than any other kidney I've ever put in," said Dr. Stephen Bartlett.

The words had a ring of distant familiarity to them Saturday night when Aloha Stadium public announcer Keenan Takamori intoned, "Touchdown by Yap!" Perhaps there was even a bit of nostalgia for old-timers who remember the late 1970s.

The Aloha Stadium fans might not have let coach Norm Chow get away with playing ultra conservative offense Saturday night, but the Rainbow Warriors' defense did.

Hawaii and Northern Iowa play what is commonly referred to as a "guarantee game" this evening at Aloha Stadium. Problem is, there seems to be a difference of opinion on what the term "guarantee game" means.

Twenty-one years after his death, the shadow of Stan Sheriff still looms large at Aloha Stadium. When Hawaii plays frequent Football Championship Subdivision contender Northern Iowa there Saturday it will be a match of football programs 4,035 miles and a division apart but now brought together, in part, by the memories of a man who was not only a common thread but a shaper and innovator at both.

Usually Marcus Mariota is driving a white Nissan Cube. These days the University of Oregon quarterback can also be found in the driver's seat of the just-beginning 2014 Heisman Trophy race.

One of these nights the University of Hawaii is going to win a football game again, but it probably won’t be until it stops beating itself.

What we have Saturday at Aloha Stadium just might be the University of Hawaii's best -- and last -- chance to beat Oregon State for many years to come. Never mind that the Rainbow Warriors are 10-point underdogs.

The book on University of Hawaii punter Scott Harding these days, it seems, is a dog-eared "Roget's Thesaurus." As in how many terms can opposing coaches employ in their attempts to describe the hardships that Harding, a six-year Australian Rules pro turned punter, presents for their special teams units?

The idea was for Edward "Skippa" Diaz and Rockne Freitas, two locally bred Oregon State football stars, to be honorary game captains Saturday when OSU plays the University of Hawaii at Aloha Stadium.

The chant rolled through Aloha Stadium like claps of rising thunder: "Dee-fense! Dee-fense!" For the first time in years it was again a rallying cry of the University of Hawaii football faithful, not some longshot prayer to the heavens.

Take a real good look at these first two opponents on the University of Hawaii's football schedule -- Washington today and Oregon State next week.

Holly Barker saw most of the 13 sacks that defensive lineman Hau'oli Kikaha registered for the University of Washington last season.

The mandate and, indeed, a slogan around University of Hawaii football for this year has been to "finish." After losing five games by a touchdown or less in 2013, it is a worthy goal. But the financial and emotional imperative at UH these days is for the Rainbow Warriors to start well, too.

At the start of his first meeting as chair of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, Jeff Portnoy slammed the opening gavel to the table with an exuberance that caused some people to recoil.

As a young football coach, Bob Wagner initially confessed surprise at the degree of interest some other coaches on campus showed in the team's fortunes.

Contrary to what's been floating around the Twitterverse and even some mainstream mainland sports media outlets, the University of Hawaii football team isn't going anywhere in the immediate future ... except to Aloha Stadium and six venues on the continent to play football games over the next few months.

Before the first volleyball is served or football kicked off this season, the University of Hawaii is already waging fierce competition. With itself. The battleground is shirts, hats and other newly minted athletic logowear being sold at both the campus bookstore and the newly created H-Zone.


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