Archive for March 2nd, 2008

Proposal offers stadium to UH

March 2, 2008

But state comptroller Russ Saito, who is responsible for the current $25 million repair project, said the new idea is unnecessary and would interfere with the repairs.
About how he feels the House proposal is unnecessary and would interfere with the repairs of the stadium, state comptroller Russ Saito (who is responsible for the current $25 mil repair project) said:
“The proposal ignores the fact that the stadium needs more money for ongoing maintenance. This bill offers to channel more money to the UH athletic budget but offers no compelling argument why it would succeed.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “The idea is being fought by the administration of Gov. Linda Lingle but is backed by Tony Guerrero, a former Stadium Authority board member, who is vice chairman of First Hawaiian Bank and chairman of the UH sports booster organization Koa Anuenue. Guerrero said the corporation would create a new funding source like the UH’s research corporation, which would “operate, maintain, manage and improve Aloha Stadium.” Extra money made from the stadium could go to the UH athletic department, Guerrero said. House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro said he liked Guerrero’s idea.”

Critical about House Bill 2429, saying the “whole idea makes no sense”, Stadium Authority member Marcia Klompus said:
“They talk about having sky boxes and selling the sky boxes, but you can’t have sky boxes until you fix the stadium. There is no common-sense reasoning to the whole thing.” (HSB)

Aloha Stadium manager Scott Chan said:
“We want to remind everyone that only 13 percent of the stadium’s $9.4 million in revenue is generated by the University of Hawaii.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “The swap meet, carnivals, concerts and other events generate the rest of the money, he said. UH officials also testified against the bill, but Oshiro said the school was interested in the money the stadium could generate.”

About what UH officials want the money from the stadium but don’t want to maintain it, Oshiro said:
“They didn’t want the burden of the cost of maintaining, improving and repairing the stadium. They would be willing to take the benefits, but not the burdens.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Oshiro said he worries that unless a new source of funding is found for the stadium, it will be a continual drain to the state. He said Saito estimates that it will cost between $130 million and $150 million to fix the stadium, giving it another 30 years of life. Building a new facility would cost between $400 million and $500 million, Oshiro said. Klompus said the Legislature should figure out a different way to help the stadium.”

About how the Legislature should do something else for the stadium, Klompus said:
“They should fund the repairs for the stadium, and they should fund UH. Once the stadium is fixed, then there is time for some sort of arrangement.” (HSB)

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Feature on Oregon State’s pipeline with Kahuku

March 2, 2008

CGT = Corvallis Gazette Times

CGT Note: “Reggie Torres knew there was going to be pressure when he took over as head football coach at Kahuku (Hawaii) High in early 2006. Kahuku was a powerhouse on the Islands, winning four state titles after finishing second in 1999. Torres was stepping in for the man who was responsible for that success. Siuaki Livai, who had built the Red Raiders from the basement up, had decided to leave the position after winning his fourth title in his 10th season. So Torres took over that April, figuring he’d have a few months to settle in. Then the visitors started coming. They were coaches from Southern California, from Arizona, Oregon State, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Brigham Young. They wanted to see film and check out some of the players.”

About how so many mainland schools come in the Spring to recruit Kahuku’s juniors, Torres said:
“They’re all coming now. You’re talking April, now. Just to see the juniors.” (CGT)

CGT Note: “Hawaii has become a football recruiting hotbed. It’s not Texas, California or Florida, and probably never will be given the population base, but it’s no secret among college coaches that you can find some pretty good players in the Islands. Chris Naeole, Itula Mili, Toniu Fonoti, Chris Kemoeatu and Ma’ake Kemoeatu are all former Kahuku players who went on to the NFL. At Oregon State, there are current players such as Jeremy Perry and Tavita Thompson and former Beavers Esera Tuaolo, Alai Kalaniuvalu, Shawn Ball and Inoke Breckterfield, among others. The players are there. It’s just a matter of convincing them to come to the mainland.

Some schools succeed. Torres said he had three players commit to mainland schools this year – Anthony Siilata to OSU, Benji Kemoeatu to West Virginia and Shiloah Te’o to BYU – and two to Hawaii. The Beavers also signed safety Kameron Krebs, who is from Kahuku but played his last two seasons at Mission Viejo, Calif. In addition to OSU, Washington, California and Arizona signed Hawaiian high school players, with the Wildcats landing the top recruit, defensive tackle Solomon Koehler. University of Hawaii convinced seven players to stay home.”

About why Hawaii recruits go to UH, Torres said:
“For the most part, kids go to Hawaii because they don’t want to go away. They grow up being Hawaii fans and if the opportunity to go to a mainland school doesn’t come, they take the opportunity to stay home. It’s good for them to leave because of the experience and the maturity they gain by leaving home, but it’s also tough to leave because they’re used to being with family. It’s tough going away.” (CGT)

CGT Note: “Nevertheless, Hawaiian players have made their way to the mainland in droves. Breckterfield, who is back with the Beavers as a graduate assistant coach, said when he was a high school player in Hawaii few players thought of going anywhere on the mainland except Utah and BYU, due to the large amount of Mormons on the Islands. The pipeline has been open for years, but rarely expanded beyond the West Coast schools.”

CGT Note: “As Hawaiians trickled into the Pac-10 and other conferences and became top players, the opportunities blossomed. The mainland programs began to recognize Hawaii as a melting pot for football talent.”

About how so many mainland schools now recruit in Hawaii, Breckterfield said:
“Some programs didn’t want to spend the money to go out there and recruit, but when they saw the success of the past Polynesian players, now it’s like the Floridas and the Tennessees and the Michigans. Everybody’s going out there now. Everybody west of the Mississippi is recruiting Hawaii and you get your few SEC schools that get out there. We’ve had some guys that go out east and play.” (CGT)

CGT Note: “The biggest lure is the level of football played on the mainland. Football has entrenched itself in the culture of Hawaii. The people are a natural fit for the sport. Physically, Hawaiian men are often large. Most of the players coming out of the Islands are offensive or defensive linemen or linebackers.”

About recruits from Hawaii, OSU lineman Wilder McAndrews (Kamehameha grad)
“Polynesian kids in general, they have the stereotype of being big and strong and football in Hawaii is not as fast as mainland high school football, I guess, in the California area, but the hits are pretty hard. A lot of high schools, they center their school spirit around their football team. Football is just really important to high schools in general in Hawaii. The emotion felt at a high school game is (high). When I was playing in high school, I felt that I was more connected to the team because it’s so much more a part of your life when you’re growing up. It has a lot of emotional meaning.” (CGT)

CGT Note: “The athletes want to play in a Bowl Championship Series conference against the top teams and talent. Breckterfield came to Corvallis for a shot at playing in the Pac-10. He followed the footsteps of players like Tuaolo, and his impact at defensive end sparked the interests of others to become Beavers.”

About how they are getting more and more Polynesian players each year at Oregon State, Breckterfield said:
“When I was here there were a few Polynesians here on the team, some that played before me and some that were coming in as I was here, but I’ve never seen this kind of impact and the amount of players that we have now and it builds every year. When I was here the other guys would come in and then other guys would come in. I think from when I was here until now, it’s been a gradual building on itself. I think we’ve peaked out at the highest here at Oregon State.” (CGT)

CGT Note: “OSU linebacker David Pa’aluhi hails from Waianae, a small town on the southwest coast of Oahu. He said going to the mainland to play football is considered to be a big deal, although it was a tough decision to leave.”

About choosing to play on the mainland, Pa’aluhi said:
“It was kind of scary at first because I didn’t know what to expect. I kind of wanted to stay home, but then I got an offer from here. When I came on the visit, I liked it.” (CGT)

CGT Note: “Pa’aluhi said people expect the top players to leave Hawaii and the players look at playing on the mainland as a better opportunity.”

About how the mainland schools are more attractive than UH for the top Hawaii players, Pa’aluhi said:
“We see the mainland colleges as better. Better athletics and academics. Playing in the Pac-10, you’re playing big colleges like SC and big bowl games, too.” (CGT)

CGT Note: “Many of the Hawaiian students have a hard time being away from their family. Pa’aluhi calls home or e-mails his family as often as possible. He has three very young brothers and three sisters, two in high school and one at University of Hawaii.”

About how his misses his family, Pa’aluhi said:
“Family is real important. We’ll get together during the week, our whole family. A couple times a week we’ll have dinner at our grandparents’ house. It’s kind of hard not being able to get around your family. It’s hard to get used to not being able to have them with you and support you.” (CGT)

CGT Note: “Breckterfield said the amount of Polynesian students on campus makes OSU an attractive choce. It also helps when several of the coaches have ties to Hawaii. Defensive coordinator Mark Banker, the main recruiter for the area, coached at University of Hawaii in 1995. Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh was with the Rainbow Warriors from 1999 through 2004. Defensive line coach Joe Seumalo is from Honolulu and coached high school football and at University of Hawaii. He graduated from UH.”

About their recruiting in Hawaii, Breckterfield said:
“Coach Banker recruits Hawaii and does a great job of bringing his players up and making them feel comfortable. Coach Riley and coach Banker and the staff in general know what they’re going to get when they recruit a Polynesian player. Very respectful, easy to coach and they always go 110 percent. It’s a simple formula. That’s what you get anytime you recruit any kind of Polynesian player. I think that’s what draws Oregon State to bringing in those players.” (CGT)