By Stephen Tsai
What the heck is the Rainbow Warrior basketball team doing in an outrigger canoe?
It starts with this analogy: When Save a Baby Seal asks for donations, you know the money will go to, well, saving baby seals (or at least one baby seal).
The problem with past Save UH Sports drives is many potential donors wondered how the money would be used specifically. That's what happens when there are so many stories about debt, constructions over-runs and contract extensions.
But in a refreshing move on indiegogo.com, the UH athletic department yesterday launched a fund-raising campaign that was concisely detailed and, through graphics and a video (featuring the basketball team), showed the need for donations and how they will be spent to offset travel costs.
> Its teams have the highest travel costs among NCAA programs "because we have to fly everywhere."
> Its teams spend $5.6 million per year on travel, or "approximately" 18 percent of the total athletic department operating budget.
> Of that total amount, it spent $2.2 million last year for visiting teams' travel subsidies and guarantees.
> Last year, the men's basketball team spent $235,000 on nine trips that totaled 46,000 miles.
The drawback is the goal — $10,000 — seems a tad low.