It’s making more sense now …

November 18th, 2010

… the awkward timing of last night’s press conference that is.

1. Even though it’s not official, UH wanted positive news out there about joining the Mountain West to help counteract the huge negative story about the class action lawsuit against the university for identity privacy lapses.

2. UH didn’t want the “good” news to get lost on Friday, the day when much fewer eyes and ears are on the news. You put bad news out on Friday, but not good news.

3. 7 p.m. at Bachman Hall, same time as the start of the UH volleyball match? This sent a clear message that this had become an Upper Campus deal, that this was President M.R.C. Greenwood’s action and the big dogs had taken charge.

4. The announcement on Thursday night has put UH in a rare situation of  (at least, perceived) leverage. WAC commissioner Karl Benson made a counteroffer to UH today — which Benson said was approved by the WAC presidents yesterday. If this offer for UH to keep its football team in the WAC had surfaced before the announcement of intention to leave, things might look quite different today.


Something else to think about for doubters: If UH had gotten dangerously ahead of itself by making the announcement last night, words to that effect from the Mountain West probably would’ve come out by now.


As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”

Although I’d written several times and spoken to a few people about the possibility of UH joining the Mountain West, I considered it a huge longshot. I didn’t see how UH could convince the MWC that the advantages of having it in the conference outweighed the disadvantages. But they did it.

Game balls to President Greenwood and Rockne Freitas for making it happen and Jim Donovan for setting groundwork several weeks ago.

HOWEVER … That press conference was really strange. Probably would’ve been better to wait until the deal was finalized and not have to dance around it.

21 Responses to “It’s making more sense now …”

  1. Bud:

    I thought is was just me, but yeah that was a strange press conference. I’m sure they are pretty confident, assume all of the difficult negotiating ie. travel subsidies, have been worked out.

  2. dreardon:

    I have to believe the major issues had been worked out before the presidents voted; and that UH wouldn’t move until confirming the other big moving part, the Big West inviting UH’s teams in other sports.

  3. Bud:

    The Big West lifting their moratorium for new members a few days ago seems to be the last piece of the puzzle. I suspected something was afoot, like the football going independent. I would have never expected an MWC invite, at least not this soon. Is there something missing here, TCU leaving perhaps.

  4. dreardon:

    TCU is expected to leave.

  5. bueller555:

    The press conference was a little strange only because we aren’t used to these types of announcements. We’re all used to having the organizations have everything signed and buttoned down by legal counsel before making any kind of statement. In the meantime, there’s usually a lot of speculation, denial, “no comments”, anxiety, and accusations of not being open and forthcoming. This type of early announcement is actually the kind of thing that most of us would rather see on a regular basis. I suppose that this is some weird form of transparency.

  6. uhwarriors:

    I thought the chances of this happening were slim and none too. What a big surprise they pulled it off. Congratulations and thank you to all who were involved in making this happen.

  7. KonaWarrior:

    Dave, just curious, how much influence do you think ESPN had in this deal? On one hand there is no doubt that UH plays in intergral part in their plans by linking the Hawaii Bowl and the Diamond Head Classic together, but on the other hand, there is the MWC and their Mountain Network that seems to want independence from ESPN. Where do you think the future lies?

  8. Dave Reardon:

    TV is a plus for Hawaii for the reasons you stated, as well as Hawaii’s unique time slot. There is something refreshing about the Mountain West’s independence from ESPN, but is it practical?

  9. BigIslandKurt:

    Rockne! Rockne! Rockne!


  10. Bud:

    Listened to the morning radio shows. Curren seems to be of the
    “almost done deal” side. Donovan was on the show and he did mention item that need to be ironed out, travel subsidies, TV contracts, etc. Not minor item IMO. Pacheco on the other hand is of the “this is just the initial stages of discussion which may or may not result in official invite” side. Not sure which is closer to being reality, though I would agree that all those UH head honchos would not call a press conference and risk looking like total a$$e$ if all of the deal breaking issues haven’t already been worked out.

  11. dreardon:

    Also, remember that the commissioners get their marching orders from the presidents, and the MWC presidents voted unanimously in Hawaii’s favor. it is naive to think the major items have not been thoroughly discussed and agreed upon in principle by the key players.

  12. Desert Rainbow:

    In general, I think this is a positive, but I don’t like the travel subsidy being paid to the MWC. Visiting teams will receive a subsidy AND get to schedule a 13th game (a revenue-generating home game) and have an easier path to recruiting Hawaii’s athletes (while promising them a trip home every other year) and get to pitch to all their other recruits that they’ll go to Hawaii every other year. I can, however, understand a travel subsidy to the Big West.

  13. roysan16:

    UH football is the vehicle that carries a lot of hope to the youngsters growing up here in the islands. It fuels their dreams, successes and growth, especially, in the right direction. Amongst the younger kids, looking up at the Warriors, it generates a desire for them be like their heroes. It gives them hope. It gives them something to shoot for. It intensifies their drive, especially if they see themselves playing for the hometown one day. Up until a few days ago the Warrior’s football future in the WAC was in limbo. The flame was still burning, but it was wavering. The kids could see this. And what effect it had on them couldn’t have been good, especially when they read that the Warriors in the leftover WAC were like orphans. And on the brink of a depression.With the MWC invitation to the Warriors it gives the kids in the islands a boost. It pumps them up. It sets the bar higher for them. Currently there’s a good feeling, like the UH hit the lottery. And I’ll happily swim along in this good feeling…in fact everyone seemingly is swimming in this good feeling, but I more happier for the kids playing high school football in the islands that look up at the Warriors, now, and someday will see the Warriors tested to their abilities and limits in their new league. The MWC affords the Warrior family a better opportunity and the trickle down effect benefits the kids. Good job President Greenwood, JD and others. Thank you for setting your foot forward, selling UH to the MWC and leading the way.

  14. Old Diver:

    Let’s not sell ourselves short. If the MWC did not perceive value in inviting UH it would not have happened. Money drives decisions, Uh brings a lot to the table, if we did not all the arm twisting in the world would not have mattered.

  15. Drew:

    I just like to thank bueler555 for the refreshing perspective of the news conference. Maybe this is transparency — we’re just not used to seeing it practiced.

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