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UH athletics seeking $3.5 million in supplemental funding

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    David Matlin says it was a family decision to go for the UH athletic director position

If the state provides the University of Hawaii with $3.5 million in supplemental funding for athletics it “would be a tremendous step toward allowing us to continue to be competitive,” regent Jeff Portnoy told fellow members of the Board of Regents today.

The Board is being asked to endorse a request for $3.5 million in supplemental funds — $3 million for Manoa and $560,000 for UH-Hilo — to be sent to the governor this month.

It is part of an overall $16 million “ask” for the UH system that the regents have been asked to approve.

Portnoy said $3 million for Manoa is “a bare minimum” needed to help the 21-team department remain competitive in the Mountain West and Big West Conferences.

“I think we ought to get strongly behind this and urge the Legislature to accept the fact that we have a statewide program sports program … (and) whether it is in Honolulu or Hilo and we need to try to be competitive with our peers in the conferences we play in and that we need assistance to do that,” Portnoy said at a joint committee meeting of the board.

Manoa athletic director David Matlin said, “We’d be very appreciative of the $3 million … or any amount.”

Manoa is expected to close its books on the 2015 fiscal year with a $4.2 million to $4.4 million deficit and is seeking ways to help find Cost of Attendance stipends for athletes and other issues including travel, meals and recruiting for its $32 million program.

Hilo is seeking the funds for travel costs and student-athlete academic programs.

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