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WAC payout to UH takes dip

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The University of Hawaii is expecting its smallest payout in at least four years, $950,796, when the Western Athletic Conference sends out checks next week at the end of the fiscal year.

For each of the previous three years UH has received at least $1 million from the conference, topped by $4.92 million following the 2008 Sugar Bowl appearance. Of that check, $3.8 million was Sugar Bowl related.

UH said it was told to expect $950,796 this year, although the final amount could change.

Athletic director Jim Donovan said the expected drop has been factored into the athletic department’s budget, which is estimated to come in approximately $2 million in the red. UH’s fiscal year closes June 30.

Commissioner Karl Benson attributed part of the drop in disbursement to the fact that Boise State received an at-large Bowl Championship Series bid, which pays at a lower rate than previous berths.

In addition the number of shares from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has been declining as bowl costs have risen. The nine-member conference pools some of its bowl liabilities. Costs associated with the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl were expected to be higher with Nevada replacing Hawaii as the WAC representative in 2009.

The WAC check also includes the WAC basketball tournament and TV rights fee payments.


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