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UH athletics won’t get requested $3 million from Gov. Ige’s budget

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State money is a cornerstone of UH athletic director David Matlin’s plan to balance the Manoa athletic budget by 2020.

The University of Hawaii athletic department did not get any of the $3 million in supplemental funds it was seeking from Gov. David Ige’s budget, it was announced today.

Ige’s executive supplemental budget, which was released today, included some of the approximately $16.2 million the school sought for a variety of operating funds, including $4 million for the Cancer Center, but none were earmarked for athletics.

The Board of Regents had earlier endorsed a request for $3 million for UH-Manoa and $500,000 for UH-Hilo.

The funds were to be used to help pay for gender equity and travel costs.

UH officials will present to the State House and Senate next month requests for supplemental funds, including athletics, President David Lassner said.

Manoa ran a $4.2 million deficit for the fiscal year that concluded June 30, 2015 and is projected to operte at a $4.8 million deficit for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2016.

State money is a cornerstone of UH athletic director David Matlin’s plan to balance the Manoa athletic budget by 2020.

Matlin has said that UH, because of its geography, has $5.2 million in “unique” costs.

A USA Today report said just 24 of 230 Division I programs meet the NCAA’s self sufficiency benchmarks.

79 responses to “UH athletics won’t get requested $3 million from Gov. Ige’s budget”

  1. yobo says:

    “The funds were to be used to help pay for gender equity and travel costs.”

    Perhaps they should ask the Australian government to help – they’re sponsoring an all-expense paid trip for the entire UH team to Australia for an exhibition game.

    Or due to the logistics of the islands and “unique” costs, have they ever considered the other teams coming here to the islands ? You could save a bunch there.

    • Crackers says:

      Gov. Ige should be grateful that UH Athletics at least produces some revenue, and the Legislature should overwhelmingly pass more funding approval for UH Athletics. Just about every other state department are just money pits with people who don’t even work hard. These student athletes are working their tails off for no pay hereunto, free entertainers on behalf of the state of Hawaii. That unlike the people who get 21 sick days a year, 21 vacation days, 13 paid holidays, and yet there is rampant abuse of time off privileges.

      • Keolu says:

        The state could easily toss the athletic department a bone. They get hundreds of extra millions by siphoning off money from the GE tax that was passed for rail construction.

  2. Kukuinunu says:

    It is about time that we put a corral around UH athletics. Many thanks Gov for committing. We all know all about the “unique” geography. It is time for the Board of Regents, the UH Administration, the legislature and all the downtown boosters to face the music and to chop these money-eating programs. A lot of great sports can be done without these expenditures. While I am at it, let’s chop some of those sky-high salaries. OK, so maybe other universities pay that kind of dough….it does not mean that we have to. How can the university justify paying many administrators more than we pay our governor? He has a tougher job!!!

    • Oahuan says:

      Oh you mean the do nothing governor Ige?

    • AdmrVT says:

      Really? Same could be said of the UH educational system that has grown too large.


      Legislation was introduced on Jan. 26 to eliminate undergraduate-degree programs that graduate less than 10 students per year at the University of Hawai‘i.

      If passed, HB555, introduced by Rep. Isaac Choy, could abolish approximately 33 undergraduate-degree programs — including 11 secondary education programs and four language programs.
      “Because the university needs a lot of money, we need to economize,” Choy said. “Having these low-demand majors is costing money.”
      Robert J. Littman, classics department chair in the department of Languages and Literature of Europe and Americas, said Choy’s bill would leave the university without accreditation. Within Littman’s department, all but one program would be abolished.

      “Should a bill like this pass, it would clearly endanger the accreditation of the university,” Littman said. “Clearly, you cannot run an accredited university without these programs: without French, without German, without Russian, without classics and a whole host of other programs within the university.”

      Choy, chairman of the state House committee on higher education, said it is the responsibility of university administration and the Board of Regents to determine what programs to keep and how many graduates are needed to keep or end a program.

      List of undergraduate programs that graduated nine or less students from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 at UH Mānoa
      American Studies 9
      Dance 3
      Dance Theatre 4
      Philippine Lang and Lit 6
      Classics 5
      French 7
      German 8
      Russian 4
      Botany 4
      Biochemistry 4
      Physics 6
      Ethnics Studies 7
      Pacific Islands Studies 1
      Geology 2
      Geology & Geophysics 5
      Meteorology 2
      Sec Education, American Studies 1
      Sec Education, Biological Sci 1
      Sec Education, English 6
      Sec Education, French 1
      Sec Education, General Science 3
      Sec Education, Japanese 2
      Sec Education, Mathematics 4
      Sec Education, Music 6
      Sec Education, Physical Educ 5
      Sec Education, Psychology 2
      Apparel Prod Dsgn & Merchandsg 4
      Biological Engineering 5
      Plant & Environmental Biotech 1
      Plant & Environ Protection Sci 7
      Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences 9
      Medical Technology 4

      Time to eliminate some departments and degrees, then demolish archaic buildings and cut deferred maintenance too.

      Cut both ways. Eliminate the UH athletic department, the Cancer Center,

      • localguy says:

        Mo bettah we clean out all the deadwood in the UH bureaucracy. If you are not in the classroom, directly working with students every day, time to find a new job.

      • bsdetection says:

        While earning my undergraduate degree at UH, I didn’t participate in sports or attend a single sports event. If fact, I honestly don’t even know if UH had a football team; if there was one, I was completely unaware of it. Couldn’t care less then and don’t care now. Who needs it? Concentrate on education and stop trying to please local sports fans.

        • mikethenovice says:

          Life is 99% rapport, and 1% education. Have fun talking to yourself for the rest of your life.

        • oxtail01 says:

          So sorry about your sad life.

        • hywnsytl says:

          So is Dance more important than having Women thriving in sports?
          Is Russian or French more important than having the ability to have over a thousand athletes?
          People, sports are in the red because of gender equity. Gender equity is an important part of society and so is athletics. It brings people together for a common cause.
          UH is not only about the students but about its place in the State.
          Please show me a part of the UH system that supports 1000 athletes, draws thousands of non college students, Is on the news every night, and only cost 3 million a year of tax money?
          Should we cut drama? art? How many UH students knew a person in any of those classes?

      • mikethenovice says:

        But the class about how to scam the government by going on welfare is always filled up.

        • bsdetection says:

          Used what I learned at UH (without even knowing whether or not there was a football team) to found a business with current sales in excess of couple hundred million per year. Contrary to your assertion, education is more than 1% of life. And I am having a lot of fun.

      • Bdpapa says:

        I see some Degrees that are really not in tune with future use. Maybe the thing to do is combine these obscure Majors and put them in one category. Sorry, then the UPW would want another layer of bureaucracy! What, maybe thats the problem, layers of bureaucracy. Its really not the courses nut the staff, just too many!

    • Crackers says:

      But we don’t corral the D.o.E. who has quadupled the size of the central office while we have had almost zero growth in student headcount? And we don’t corral Honolulu County’s rampant, runaway spending on rail that will increase by Billions of dollars?

    • allie says:

      GREE WITH IGE…the waste and bad management have to finally end. Please support academics.

    • mikethenovice says:

      The chopping will only happen at the bottom. That solves nothing.

  3. islandsun says:

    UH athletics have been managed so poorly in the past they dont need to be bailed out every time. Let them do it the old fashioned way….earn it.

    • Crackers says:

      What do measure this by? Are you measuring U.H. relative to 121 other division 1 sports programs? Or the 3,000 collegiate sports programs? There are 15 profitable sports programs out of 3,000. In the Big West Conference Hawaii has among the smallest deficits. So what is your measure? Explain.

    • mikethenovice says:

      Tell that to the next generation of kids who will be wiping your soil in the nursing home.

    • Bdpapa says:

      No, UH is a State issue. They are the only game in town. The State needs to find a way to support UH athletics. Personally, I’m tired of small time High School sports, UH is where we all come come together and have as our Home Team.

  4. st1d says:

    so what does the u.h. cut?

    soccer, swimming, tennis, golf, track, beach volleyball, sailing, water polo?

    or just cut football? of course, by cutting just football, all other sports supported by football revenue will be cut also. and that would be all other sports.

    • butinski says:

      Now you’re catching on. Yes, cut all sports and use the money for academics. Ask the student body. Very few attend sporting events, even though they are forced to pay as part of their tuition.

      • oxtail01 says:

        The fees pay intramural sports and all the facilities that support it. As a UH alumi,I know how important sports participation was for me and many others in rounding out the education experience and it served as an important conduit of relieving stress from pure academics. Also, as a proud father of 2 sons who are on successful career paths, I know how important sports was (both were active from young age through high school and both participated in club sports at their universities)in them developing discipline, mental toughness, code of fairness, and teamwork. From my perspective, anyone who don’t see athletics as an integral part of successful education is a loser

    • mikethenovice says:

      Yeah. Cut the sports so that the kids can become fat by not being active, but rather inactive on their smartphone.

    • Bdpapa says:

      It seems that some don’t take pride in athletics. We don’t have a Pro Team but we do have UH, support them!

    • krusha says:

      The way it’s going, Ige wants UH athletics to die on the vine or force the BOR to cut funding for education in order to keep it afloat. UH probably has no choice but to raise tuition if they want to keep everything funded.

  5. kuewa says:

    Contrary to popular belief, the primary purpose of a college or university is to educate students. All we hear about is the finances of the extracurricular athletic program, as though this required taxpayer support above and beyond anything else. Meanwhile, many of the key academic programs and facilities remain sorely underfunded and lack national competitiveness. I hope Gov Ige’s budget is an intentional push in the right direction for UH priorities.

    • bleedgreen says:

      Harvard University supports 42 intercollegiate programs. Ever wonder why?

      • choyd says:

        A $37.6 billion endowment. That’s how.

        • AdmrVT says:

          He asked WHY, not how. Probably to get some of the donations for that endowment.

        • kuewa says:

          Why? Because Harvard can afford it (as pointed out by choyd) while also maintaining top quality academic programs. In addition, Ivy League and similar sports programs typically receive a relatively small university subsidy and rely on the generosity of their deep-pocketed alumnae. Some top level academic schools such as University of Chicago do not have athletic programs.

        • boolakanaka says:

          Kuewa, less time with platitudes, and more with objective research and facts. Praytell. Why did UChicago just hire a new football coach—see:http://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/fball/index

        • oxtail01 says:

          Hey DoDo, if Harvard (and all other Ivy League schools)didn’t consider sports an integral part of education, why would they spend ANY money on it, regardless of endowment amount?

      • mikethenovice says:

        The wealthy know just how important it is to develop social skills learned with playing sports.

      • kuewa says:

        boolakanaka, if you had done your research you would know what I mean. U Chicago dropped out of Division I football back in 1939. Football was reinstated in the 1960’s as a club, then Division III, then UAA, SAA and most recently has had trouble maintaining SAA membership. So yes, it has a football team but it is hardly a program to speak of… more of a club with intermittent aspirations to contend in Division III (hence the recent coach hire).

        • boolakanaka says:

          Nope, this is excatly what you said:he generosity Some top level academic schools such as University of Chicago do NOT have any athletic progrograms-period. In short, they have 17 intercollegiate squads. The football teams played a full schedule including CMU, CWR, WashU and Sewanne–just say you are wrong.

        • oxtail01 says:

          Let’s be factual. Top educational schools WITHOUT sports is a tiny minority. Guss that doesn’t register in your empty head – get an education.

  6. Oahuan says:

    F it, just raise the activity fee to $300 a year. If the state gov’t won’t do nothing to help UH Athletics then UH got to do what needs to be done.

  7. bleedgreen says:

    I won’t be voting for him again.

  8. oldertimer808 says:

    Some of you are very naive about your comments about Athletics without understanding the overall fiscal picture. Did you know that the University of Hawaii athletics contributes to the state pockets annually around 60 million dollars according to a recent report. Football despite the recent poor attendance still drives the athletic department. There are many women’s as well as men’s programs that does not bring any revenue in but is entitled to be funded. Governor Ige is trying to be polically correct without I think not trully understanding how economics works. I wouldn’t wnat him running my business with his non-creative mind.

  9. oldertimer808 says:

    kuewa when has the chemistry, business, nursing etc contribute monies. Every department has to rely on donations, state tax dollars, etc but yet when the financial state of athletics comes up the usual cry is elimanate athletics, the school is to educate. When athletics does well there is a direct correlation to the rise of enrollment to the university. When athletics does well and is featured on national television than you have the perfect advertisement for a travel destination which helps keep the tourism industry viable.

    • Dawg says:


      • Crackers says:

        When Wisconsin came over they brought 10,500 fans to watch them blow us out. 10,500 fans = 5,250 rooms (assuming 2 per room), x $250 per nite for 3 nites = $3,937,500. not including hotel taxes, and other spending on tourist attractions, food, rental cars, souvenirs. I have 11 friends on the mainland who would travel to Hawaii for various sporting events–big time sports fans. They drop between $3,000 and $6,000 on their trips to Hawaii. No small chunks of change.

        • oxtail01 says:

          You cannot teach old “Dawgs”. Besides, his grasp of economics is limited to how knowing how fast his money runs out before his next paycheck (or welfare check).

  10. oldertimer808 says:

    Another thing 3 million is a drop in the bucket compared to all the financial waste in state government spending. The old saying goes you have to spend money to make money. Providing financial support to the athletic department is a good investment for future financial gains.

  11. Dawg says:


  12. localguy says:

    Just the start of state cutbacks. As we have seen, our governor is kowtowing to his union bosses. Ensuring the state’s top spending priorities are:

    1. Union pensions and medical care for retired union workers and all family members.

    2. Union pay raises, promotions and benefits.

    3. Ensuring each state union member can access Netflix and Hulu on state computers

    4. Everyone else needs to stand in line for whatever crumbs are left.

    Just another day in the backwards Nei.

  13. 2liveque says:

    Want to know more about where most of that money at UH is going? Check this out:


    some of these administrators are hard workers who are doing good things, while others are committing acts of grand theft — collecting on huge salaries while displaying very little success. By the time an unsuccessful or anemic administrator retires or is removed, they have usually taken the state tax payers for a ride to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Real talk.

  14. Honolulu_Guy says:

    How many of you know of a high schooler in marching band? And are they looking for a scholarship at UH to help offset their tuition? Get rid of UH sports, and the marching band, cheerleaders and dancers also lose their scholarships. Next, marching bands get dropped from high schools. Gotta look at the cascading effects of dropping sports.

    • geralddeheer says:

      Good point. UH sports provides a large number a scholarships for local (non-athlete) students. Still, has the UH Athletic Department made a strong case for continued support? The new Athletic Department Administration needs to submit a credible plan to the Legislature that makes fiscal sense. I believe they will and the money will be ‘restored’. Since the track record is so poor, Lassner and Matlin should not be given a ‘blank check’. The Legislature is frustrated with UH and the Administration is taking watching. There is little support for another ‘bail-out’. The UH needs to build confidence via a solid plan. Note, the last Athletic Director injected himself into the continuing stadium controversy. There really wasn’t a credible plan, other than optics. For UH, the road ahead is tough; but there is opportunity to turn this around.

      • AdmrVT says:

        What “blank check”?

        • geralddeheer says:

          Simply covering the deficit without a plan to bolster the financing of UH Athletics isn’t a good idea, particularly heading into the next session. Lassner and Matlin can expect to be working during the holidays. What Rep Choy suggested presents a real problem for the UH as a whole; Dr. Littman is correct about accreditation. UH Athletics as well as the entire UH System needs to respond with bold, credible plans. Right or wrong, key legislators are frustrated with UH. The solution? The UH needs to answer the tough questions honestly, recommend solutions, and get stakeholders to buy in. The ‘non-funding’ of the UH Athletic Department deficit is a ‘blessing in disguise’. Take it as a wake up call and respond by getting all the stakeholders excited about what a well-funded UH System can deliver for all of us.

      • oxtail01 says:

        UH athletic generates over $35 mil. in total revenues (and that without having concessions,parking, etc…) and runs a deficit $3-4 million while proiding hundreds of scholarships. Name me one academic program at UH that has the same high percentage of self sustainability or offers same amount of scholarships. At least half of the deficit is due to the huge drop in football revenue due to Chow. I believe football is back on the right path – will take time but it won’t be too long before it adds a couple of million positive.

  15. mikethenovice says:

    UH will not get the three million, but the rail and the homeless sure will.

  16. HawaiiMongoose says:

    Total state General Fund revenue is up OVER A THIRD in the past seven years, yet UH’s General Fund appropriation is LESS than it was seven years ago. The level of political support in Hawaii for the university system is a joke. If UH were receiving the same share of General Fund money it got in 2010, it would have roughly $70 million more to spend this academic year, and there would be no need to beg for a paltry $3 million for athletics.

    Ige, Choy and the others who blame UH’s fiscal problems on mismanagement are obfuscating the truth. Of course almost any large state bureaucracy can do a better job managing its money, but improved fiscal management can’t fully offset the impacts of intentional and systematic defunding.

  17. fairgame947 says:

    Shame on Gov. Ige, a UH alum, and the entire legislature. $3 million is such a pittance to the sums being discussed to cover health insurance for retirees, etc., etc. It means a lot to many of the taxpayers in this state and for many reasons, to many to type in the Reply to the article it should have been funded. I will certainly remember this and I hope a lot of other voters will when elections come around next year.

  18. smooshpappy says:

    Tanks eh Guv! Solid! Bumbye no mo blood you can squeeze from da stone! Tsaaaah!

  19. IkaikaClothingofHNL says:

    When we return to glory, make sure Gov. Ige pays for his ticket to get into the games! Make sure he purchases his own $59 polo shirt and his $5.25 soda at the games! Doing this on our own will be bittersweet! Show them David Matlin!!!! And when David Matlin turns down the opportunity to run for Governor to keep Hawai`i Athletics going strong, we’ll see who’s laughing! Shame on them! Go Warriors!

  20. […] then, that a local columnist fails to make the case that the governor was wrong when he recently denied the school three million additional athletics dollars. But the way he fails is instructive if […]

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