Waipio … Independence

August 24th, 2010

Two topics today: Waipio Little League and bailing from the WAC for UH sports.

1. Talked to Waipio manager Brian Yoshii on Monday. He said the team is in good spirits. He said Dane Kaneshiro will start on the mound Tuesday. Kaneshiro saved the win against New Jersey the other day.

My friend, Mid-Pacific Institute grad and ESPN producer extraordinaire Nate Jones, said he reminded the crew at Williamsport that it is not called Eee-va Beach. He also said he would let Karl Ravech know that Oahu is the name of the island that Waipio is on, not Honolulu. And that Kurt Suzuki is from Wailuku, Maui, not Honolulu.

2. My Wednesday column addresses the possibility of UH going independent. More pros and cons, please.

30 Responses to “Waipio … Independence”

  1. Jon:

    Good column today Dave. I agree with everything you said, particularly with the possibility that Independence positions UH best for the next round of conference shakeups. Big West would be ok, familiar teams to Hawaii fans for our other sports. It would be great if BYU followed through and landed in the Big West as well with their other sports!

    Go Waipio!!!!

  2. Its over:


    Everything you wrote in your “Further Review” column makes sense. The one thing that jingles in the back of my mind is that the WAC may be entitled to fleeing money from FSU and Nevada. “May” is the key word there.

    If I recall correctly, the MWC scoundrels that left way back when left behind any right to $$$ paid to the WAC after they left. That tells me the WAC rules financially mess with those schools who dig out.

    If Boise runs the table, I presume the WAC will eventually receive some big BCS bucks (hopefullly it can convince the BCS to delay payment until after BSU’s last day on the job). Also, if FSU AND NEVADA ARE FORCED TO MAKE A DEPARTURE PAYMENT, that could be $10 million. The questions are, when are they officially “leaving”?, and thus, when do such payments actually become due?

    Seems like in the best case, the WAC receives BSU $$$ from this year, eventually receives FSU and Nevada penalty payments, and UH receives a full share of both pots.

    Does UH still need to be in the WAC to receive that money? If it leaves, does it also leave behind the right to a share?

    “The WAC”, as opposed to its component schools, has an interest in maintaining rules that would deprive departing schools of windfalls like BCS payouts. Obviously, it would also want to retain penalty payments for its remaining members. But, that’s a “The WAC” interest. The loyal schools (everyone except BSU, FSU and Nevada), especially at this point in time, have a completely separate interest. I would think they’d want to retain a right to those funds, yet also be able to flee a dying conference.

    Perhaps the first order of business is for the remaining WAC members to get together and fashion a new rule that would permit them to go to other conferences, but still retain a right to money earned by BSU, FSU and Nevada. I would think the remaining WAC members would all vote for such a rule. Karl Benson might not like it. But, oh well.

    One thing I think is also important is to make sure that only the remaining, harmed schools get whatever BSU, FSU and Nevada are responsible for the WAC receiving over the next two years. It would seem pretty unfair if a school like UH HAD to leave the WAC in order to survive, lost entitlement to big windfalls, and then the money went to Montana, Texas State Northern Teachers and Pipefitters Technical College Of Chiropractic and Agriculture, its sister school UC Davis, etc.

  3. Mutt:

    Does anyone really think Fresno and Nevada give a rip about UH ? UH needs to start caring about itself and forget the WAC already. Go to the Big West & football independent….or die .

  4. Dave Reardon:

    I got a day ahead of myself. Talked to Brian Yoshii on Tuesday, and Dane Kaneshiro will start today … in about half an hour.

  5. mac fan:

    Great column, Dave. I agree that UH needs to be procactive and do what is best for our programs than flounder in a conference that is on life support.

    It’s Over: I think you make a good point about the money. It would be nice if UH could reap the rewards of the penalty money and possibly BCS bucks from Boise. However, if UH stays in the WAC just for those payouts it would be like collecting disability checks VS. getting paid at a better job. The “free” money sounds good but I would rather have the good karma and the opportunity to be in a better place (Independent and or other conference).
    If we could have both, that would be even better but we definitely need to get out of the WAC at the same time Boise gets out.

  6. mac fan:

    Go Wapio!!!

  7. Manoa Mist:

    Just one word for your indpendence column DaveO: Amen.

  8. Its over:

    mac fan:

    It is a real dilemna, assuming UH risks losing entitlement to Boise/FSU/Nevada money if it leaves too early:

    Wait for the money and suffer from being in the WAC versus walking away from the table towards an uncertain future, no doubt with the addition of costs UH did not have while a WAC member.

    Difficult, difficult times for UH.

  9. Manoa Mist:

    Man I can’t even spell independence…

  10. kev-1:

    Dave – Excellent column today. I couldn’t agree more, especially with your point about believing UH can win anywhere. Isn’t that what teams are supposed to do? As a fan, don’t you get more excited about UH facing an Alabama, USC, or Michigan St. knowing there is a great chance that they will get lickens than you do about watching them play Idaho or Charleston Southern, knowing there is a good chance they’ll win? In know I do. I am all for independence. I believe teams will want to play us. I also feel it will give us more respect in the long run. Most of the criticism UH faces is because of the WAC. People don’t dog Army the way they dog Hawaii. And that boils down to conference affiliation.

    I really disagree with ST and his belief that UH should stay in a watered down WAC. His belief that independent teams have nothing to play for if they’re not playing for championships is bogus. Trust me, athletes have plenty to play for, and in college athletics especially, REPUTATION is a big thing to play for too.

    Another excellent point you bring up is if independence doesn’t work out, its not an end all be all. I’m sure we could try to get into another conference later.

    QUESTION: What would this mean for TV viewership though? ST did raise an interesting issue regarding UH football on ESPN but blacked out. Would that mean that the once ina while game we get to watch for free would disappear? Your thoughts Dave?

  11. zzzzzz:

    How about the remaining WAC members agreeing to stay together long enough to collect the exit moneys from BSU, FSU, and Nevada, then going their separate ways, but with long-term home and home agreements?

    I’m also wondering why Donovan hasn’t locked up some Big 12 teams (the Big 12 with 10 teams, not to be confused with the Big 10 with 12 teams) for late season games. They no longer have to keep an open date for a potential conference championship game.

    Gotta agree with you about the Big West and Wahine volleyball. I went to a lot of Wahine matches on the mainland where there were more Wahine fans than home team fans.

  12. mac fan:

    Wow! Someone on Ferd’s column suggested that we can some of our home games in Las Vegas. What a great idea!!! If we can lobby to have them upgrade Sam Boyd Stadium (especially the seats) we can have games there when UNLV is on the road. Or, is their plans for another stadium in Vegas???
    The last two warrior games I went to in Vegas was rockin!!! Woo hoo!!!

    Mr. Donovan, make it happen!!!

  13. kev-1:

    I get the Vegas connection, but it still wouldn’t be a “home” game. Sounds like some Hawaii folks that like to go to Vegas just trying to give themselves another reason to go.

  14. Dave Reardon:

    12, 13. A couple of “home” games a year in Vegas is a great idea. This would draw Hawaii fans from all over the continent as well as the islands. Reunions and other family events can be combined with these games. Have them on back to back weeks and save even more money. That way fans from Hawaii can get two games in Vegas flying just once to the mainland.
    I understand Kev-1′s concern. But it would be better than having way more traditional road games than home games.

  15. Dave Reardon:

    By the way, Hawaii kids never quit. They were down 4-0 and and had no hits in the fourth inning. Now it’s 6-4, Hawaii leading.

  16. Dave Reardon:

    2, 8, 11 … Yes, it goes without being said that Hawaii has to be careful to not publicly announce any moves or do anything else that might jeopardize receiving any benefits it should from exit fees, as well as BCS and NCAA tv money, etc. But still, get your future deals set now and get out as quickly as you can.

  17. Dave Reardon:

    10. Part of June Jones’ vision was for Hawaii to nationalize and even internationalize its brand, partly through apparel marketing, style of play and plenty of TV appearances. A key component of success as a football independent would be TV, whether it be a contract with ESPN or someone else. This landscape is also changing dramatically … One key question is how long will cable be a dominant player with increasing direct satellite access? Jim Donovan and others will have to envision how this will likely play out and make the appropriate partnerships. He has a head start with good ESPN relationships through his Hawaii Bowl experience.

  18. kev-1:

    Does anyone think JJ is pissed at UH right now? I know circumstances are unpredictable and this is purely hindsight, but since he left, alot of what he wanted out of UH is happening. Facility improvements and independence were high on his list. I personally wish he were here to be a part of it.

  19. mac fan:

    Yay, Waipio!!!! 6-4..Or “Wah-pee ‘oh” as it’s said by our mainland bros…

  20. mac fan:

    Kev-1: With all the Texas “Fat Cat” money he’s (JJ) getting from the SMU boosters, I don’t think he gives a flying “you know what”…

    To JJ’s credit, he was great for UH while he was here but it was all about the “benjamin’$” when he left. Personally, I think he is missing out for not following his heart if UH was where it was at. Too bad for him…

  21. Dave Reardon:

    Oh, and regarding motivation for college football players and teams … these guys play for much more than just conference championships. They have just one game a week, 12 or 13 games a year for four years. They play for pride their ohana and each other and the state every game … and usually, for bowl eligibility. If that’s not enough to get up for every game, then they don’t deserve a uniform.

    UH’s post practice break each day is “Beat SC” not “Win the WAC.”

  22. roysan16:

    For a football player I would think battle scars against teams in a watered down conference over four years, where there’s something at stake like a championship, are more meaningful to the players than playing teams going the independent route. I think players in a conference would take more pride in making an impact on their team’s standing in a conference than playing for a team that’s an independent. I think players will be more charged up for conference games than being designated as an independent and playing games where seemingly their vanities are at stake. I would vote stay in the WAC, endure the storm and use the NCAA two year grace period of getting the league back together to 7 or 8 teams. Personally I would love to see Portland State enter the league. Big TV market. Plus their women’s teams can field a team in all the sports. Ditto with Cal Davis.I think if UH were the kingpin in the watered down WAC there would still be a lot more fan support and interests from recruits than if they were playing as a an independent. Contrary to what other people think I still think the WAC can survive. That is if no other current teams drop out and two other teams, like the aforementioned ones join.

  23. Robbie:

    From my post in the “Big West/WCC” article:

    In terms of football, Hawaii could:
    1) Stay in the WAC, AND push for, say 3 teams from the Great West/Big Sky teams like Cal Poly, UC Davis, Sac St., Montana, and Eastern Washington to move up. This would be better than having the likes of North Texas and Arkansas St. in, due to travel costs. Plus these DI-AA would get better over time (and its like N.Texas, etc are the bottom of DI-A anyway.)
    2) Go independent. This may be the only option if the WAC can’t get the #’s, save LA Tech, for the remaining 5 teams. During the meat of conference play by other schools, these 5 schools could agree to play each other “as if” the WAC still existed. For Hawaii, the balance of the schedule could be filled with BYU, UNLV, Army and/or Navy, a DI-AA, plus whoever from the rest of the country (3-4 games- BCS, MWC, whomever).

    For the rest of the sports: UH should push NCAA to allow them to remain DI-A for popular and/or revenue producing sports, like M/W volleyball, men’s basketball, baseball, & softball. The Big West would be the best in terms of competitiveness and travel (just San Fran & LA).
    Well I’m proposing that for many of the non-revenue and/or “minor” sports, UH be allowed to compete at the DII level and join the Pac West conference. So UH teams in soccer, W Basketball, tennis, golf, etc. are in the mix with HPU, Chaminade, UH-Hilo, etc. I mean the mainland teams in this conference already plan road trips to play these Hawaii schools already anyway.
    AGAIN, for this to happen I’m sure UH would have to appeal to the NCAA for such a severe move to DII for this many sports. I know NCAA has certain standards/minimums to compete at different levels, but Hawaii may have to appeal to NCAA to make a special excemption to remain at DI-A for ONLY select sports.

  24. zzzzzz:

    I’ve been in Reno, Tahoe, and Vegas on more than a few football Saturdays, and late at night, you could always catch UH home games live at the sports book, because by that time it was the only live game around.

    I’ve always wondered why UH wasn’t able to line up some sort of national deal, especially with so many channels carrying college FB. There’s all the different flavors of ESPN, multiple Fox sports channels, Versus… Isn’t there some channel out there that wants the last game of the week? ESPN has taken advantage of the this at times for basketball.

    A deal like that would make it easier to get teams out here to play, and would make UH more attractive to conferences.

  25. Robbie:

    What about the “1st game of the week”: Friday games? Owned by high school and wouldn’t be popular….but how good would that be nationally?

  26. zzzzzz:

    @Robbie–There are already college games on Thursdays (e.g., next week Thursday).

    OTOH, UH games that start at 6pm or later (7pm after the mainland stops daylight savings time) could be marketed as the first game of the week, at least on the east coast.

    Whether the first or last game of the week, I wonder why UH hasn’t been able to take advantage of its geography, which makes it easy to be the only live game in the country.

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