By Stephen Tsai
The athletic director should be commended for detailing an ambitious plan to increase fund-raising and improve the athletic department's standing.
What also should be appreciated are the "anonymous donors" who have made contributions that cannot be found on bottom lines, building plaques or in state-of-UH speeches.
These donors don't write big checks. But they give something more valuable: Time.
Three claps for:
• The coaches who began working even before they were officially on the payroll because athletic schedules aren't synchronized to HR's timetable.
• The graduate assistants who paid for their own school textbooks.
• The athletic trainers, equipment workers, and media-relations folks who are caught in the athletic department's new no-overtime-pay mandate. They have been told to hold their work to no more than eight hours each day and 40 hours each week. Last week, the football team practiced on Sunday. By Thursday, the day the team was to depart for the Oregon State game, the support staff was reaching the 40-hour limit. (In fact, the staff already exceeded it.) Told they would not receive overtime pay, they kept working, and haven't had a day off since.
• The doctors, surgeons and nurses who volunteer their services and pay their own way to road games.
• The owner of a paint company who attends every UH football game, home and away. Before each game, he is helping to prepare the locker rooms. After games, he is collecting laundry and helping to pack the uniforms and equipment. He pays his own way, too.
• The same people who work in the athletic department all week are the ones working crowd control and assisting with introductions and other on-field events during football games at Aloha Stadium. They do this as part of the helping-each-other loyalty that is the fabric of the Aloha Spirit. They are not paid for working the games.
• The fans who pay for championship bracelets for the softball team, and the ones who contribute the post-match dinners for the volleyball teams.
UH is seeking donors with big checkbooks.
It already has donors with big hearts and small egos.