Archive for July, 2009

Charlie Weis’ comments after talk with Greg McMackin

July 31st, 2009
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The following is a statement from a release from Notre Dame:

Head coach Charlie Weis in regards to Hawaii coach Greg McMackin’s comments yesterday:

“Our media day is not until next Friday so I believe it is in the best interests of the Notre Dame football program to address this issue promptly then put it to rest.

“Yesterday, Coach McMackin demonstrated poor judgment when, while making comments critical of our football program, he used a derogatory word. Speaking only for our football program, we were offended by the remarks.

“This afternoon I received a phone call from Coach McMackin and he apologized to me and asked I pass that along to my players and coaches. We accept his apology and we will move on.

“As a parent of a daughter with global developmental delays, I am especially sensitive to offensive characterizations like the one at issue here. But in

no way do I believe Coach McMackin¹s comments were intended to be offensive. In our phone conversation today, I expressed those sentiments.

“It is now time to put this incident behind us and return focus to the 2009 season.”

Sadly for UH, this story will have legs

July 30th, 2009
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Greg McMackin’s terrible choice of words today at the WAC football preseason media meetings will resonate far beyond Salt Lake City, the Western Athletic Conference, and, perhaps, college football. And in this case, the old one about any publicity being good publicity is not true.

The story will be repeated in many places because it is Notre Dame football — merely the most storied and well-known college sports program in the world —  whose dance/chant McMackin made fun of with a slur related to sexual orientation.

Also, with this being a dead time for sports talk, national radio and TV hosts will gleefully grab on to this one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become fodder for the late night network variety talk show hosts, too.

I spoke with athletic director Jim Donovan today. He refused to comment on any possible disciplinary action citing privacy laws applicable to personnel issues. He did indicate that at this time, McMackin is still running the UH football program. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a couple of unpaid days off in the near future, though.

The coach, at the very least, will be expected to “make amends” to those he may have offended, Donovan said.

There will be people who call for a suspension at least, and there will be people who call for his resignation or firing. And this is bad whenever, but horrible timing now — McMackin just added to his work and stress load just a few days before the start of fall camp. Assuming he is not suspended or fired, at the very least he has a huge distraction with which to deal.

Other than Donovan calling the Bobby Curran Show to get ahead of the situation (repeatedly referring to McMackin’s “stupid” comments), early attempts at damage control failed miserably. McMackin apologized profusely but ineptly, botching it by asking reporters with tape recorders running to not attribute the offensive word to him. From transcriptions of what he said, it sounds like he tried to ad lib his apology. He should’ve been reading from a carefully worded statement crafted by UH and WAC media relations personnel.

By the way, scrap the ha’a/haka already. It’s proven to be more trouble than it’s worth. Focus on playing winning football, make that a UH “tradition.”

-By Dave Reardon

Cutback Mack

July 28th, 2009
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Great nickname for a running back. But what it applies to today is UH football coach Greg McMackin’s willingness to take a voluntary paycut from his $1.1 million annual salary.

This is a no-brainer, and I’m only surprised it took this long to become an issue.

This is a statement from the coach, released by the UH athletic department’s media relations director today:

“I’ve always been a team player, and even though my contract doesn’t require me to contribute, I will give my fair share on behalf of the football program.”

 How much do you think is appropriate for McMackin to return to UH?

-By Dave Reardon

Polls are open

July 26th, 2009
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Who’s the greatest UH football player of the first 100 years?

Gary Allen, Colt Brennan, Jason Elam, Tommy Kaulukukui or Al Noga?

You tell us. If it’s none of the above, tell us who here.

http://www.starbulletin.com/specialprojects/09/centurions/20090726_further_review.html

-Dave Reardon

Brennan and the NFL in a uniform cause

July 15th, 2009
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The Ko’olaulea Red Raiders Pop Warner football players will all have brand new uniforms this season, thanks to a hanai son of the North Shore.

Colt Brennan made a donation to sponsor the Red Raiders, and through an NFL program, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback’s donation is matched by the league.

“One of my teammates, Fred Smoot, was talking one day about how he had a team in Mississippi,” said Brennan, the former Hawaii star who is relaxing in the islands this week. “So that gave me the idea to do it here.”

Brennan has become good friends with former UH receiver Gerald Welch, who lives on the North Shore.

“Gerald got us in touch with the people we needed to in the Red Raiders’ Pop Warner and we got the ball rolling. Now it’s all official. All four teams will have new uniforms.

“When you think of this tiny little community, and what they do with what little they have to produce so many NFL players, that says something special,” Brennan said.

Brennan will be leave July 23 and report to camp July 29. 

Davone Bess (Dolphins) leaves for the mainland today. Ryan Mouton (Titans) left yesterday. All three made charity and fund-raising appearances while in the islands.

–By Dave Reardon