University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay says the knife isn’t being sharpened for football or any of the school’s 21 athletic teams right now.
After earlier in the day telling a Board of Regents committee, "there is a very real possibility of football going away," under questioning by the board, Jay said issued the following statement:
"My comments at the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics’ meeting were made in order to convey a sense of urgency regarding the need to address our current funding model. In no way was I indicating that a decision on program reduction of any sport was under consideration. Rather, I was suggesting that the department’s financial situation required that all possible scenarios be reviewed. Hopefully, going forward, there will be a priority placed on discussing the future financial needs of the UH Athletics Department. President David Lassner has expressed his support and we’ll call upon our many loyal stakeholders to help us ensure that we remain competitive within the future landscape of intercollegiate athletics. We owe that to our student-athletes and passionate fans."
Jay had been asking the state to come up with $3 million to help fund the financially struggling program.
"I think, in my mind, it has to come from the state. In part, I’m asking this board, President (David Lassner) and the UH-Manoa leadership to support and ask the legislature for direct for direct funding support for the athletic program," Jay said.