By Stephen Tsai
Sure, there were fist bumps and other such unsightly celebrations for middle-aged folks when a get-tough plan was announced to the UH Board of Regents. It went something like this: Meet the budget (or, at least come close by $1 million) or else programs will be cut. In three years.
As an old fart who has witnessed we-really-mean-it threats for decades, the response should be: Hah.
That tactic might have worked at Saint Mary's when it dropped football (coincidentally, UH associate AD Carl Clapp served as the Gaels' AD at the time), but it won't cut it here, so to speak.
First, football is safe. As the Wonder Blunder hearings showed, it's not up to an AD or chancellor or, even, the regents to lop football, as if it were some line item like improvement seminars. Everybody has to be on board, including the governor, and that's just not happening. Hawaii might love its teachers, but it loves its football even more. (Actually, it loves winning football, but that's a subject for another post.)
So, football is safe. The women's sports are safe. If you charge admission, there's the potential to make money (or come close by $1 million), so men's basketball, men's volleyball and baseball are safe. The golf guy raises a lot of money and doesn't spend a lot, so he's safe. And so, the bubble sport would be … swimming? Really? All this hold-my-breath-and-hope-to-spit threats over swimming? And would UH really want to cut a sport in a state that is surrounded by, uh, you know ... water?
Which goes back to the original response: Hah.
Now it's easy to blame a program for failing to reach budget "expectations," which is synonymous with: This is what I think. Maybe.
But can't projections be adjusted? Let's say you want to sell 100 boxes of cookies, but pre-sales are only at 30 boxes. Do you still order 100 boxes? As our columnist reports every other day, UH has known since training camp that season tickets for football were down. Why couldn't the projections change? (Side note: My father, who was a partner in a large New York accounting firm, worried himself into high blood pressure and cardiac problems because of the CPA's code: "If the numbers don't add up, it's the CPA who's in trouble." He died at age 43.)
So, dear fans, feel bad about the extra turkey and starch you ate last night, but not about missing a game or so. UH's budget woes are not your problem.
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Hey, we were hungry, so the Turkey Bowl was 21 plays:
• 1-10 from 50 — Jason Muraoka rush for 0 yards
• 2-10 from 50 — Taylor Graham incomplete to Quinton Pedroza
ª 3-10 from 50 — Graham incomplete
• 1-10 from 50 — Muraoka rush for 7 yards
• 2-3 from 43 — Muraoka rush for 2 yards
• 3-1 from 41 — Muraoka rush for 4 yards
• 1-10 from 37 — Graham incomplete
• 2-10 from 37 — Muraoka rush for 0 yards
• 3-10 from 37 — Graham complete to Donnie King for 7 yards
• 1-10 from 50 — Fumbled snap. Jeremy Higgins recovers for 1 yard
• 2-9 from 49 — Higgins complete to Pedroza for 8 yards
• 3-1 from 41 — Josh Gonda rush for 0 yards
1-10 from 50 — Graham incomplete
2-10 from 50 — Gonda rush for 3 yards
• 3-7 from 47 — Graham complete to Pedroza for 47 yards. Touchdown.
• 1-10 from 50 — Graham incomplete
• 2-10 from 50 — Graham to Penitito Faalologo for 5 yards. (When he landed, a player yelled: "Don't hurt the ground"
• 3-5 from 45 — Graham to Austin Slade-Matautia for 14 yards
• 1-10 from 31 — Graham incomplete
• 2-10 from 31 — Muraoka rush for minus-2 yards
• 3-10 from 33 — Graham incomplete (Barry Higdon pass breakup)
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Avis has selected MarleysDad as winner of the T-shirt. He's 2-for-2 this week.
The third-person-speaking host will deliver it at the luau.