Archive for December, 2008

UH is feeling the crunch from the tough economy

December 31, 2008

JD sent out an e-mail to staff and coaches about “belt tightening”, saying:
“Our (income) numbers have softened up from about Nov. 1st on and we’re looking at ways we can achieve some savings.” (HA)

About how he isn’t considering cutting any of their 19 sports, any aid to athletes, or any coaches’ positions, JD said:
“When it comes down to it, we’re here for the student-athlete. Making cuts in those areas can have a detrimental impact for years to come.” (HA)

However, JD added that in the current tough economy:
“we will be looking at a number of areas and we could possibly look at staff, but it is way to early to talk about that. We wouldn’t make that kind of a determination until mid-to-late spring.” (HA)

HA Note: “UH’s $29.5 million budget is being affected by what is expected to be, when final returns are in, a 15-percent drop in football attendance and an 8-percent slide in women’s volleyball crowds. Men’s basketball, which had its poorest ticket revenue in more than five years last season, and women’s basketball, which may be headed to its worst figures since moving to the Stan Sheriff Center in 1994, are also trending downward, officials acknowledged.”

Expecting budget cuts, one UH coach said:
“I can’t believe it will be too long before the (budget) cuts start coming.” (HA)

HA Note: “Donovan inherited an accumulated deficit of more than $4.4 million upon replacing Herman Frazier in March. Donovan said the administration is allowing athletics to run a $1.8 million deficit in the current fiscal year, which means it must still generate approximately $27.7 million through ticket sales and other income. Right now, Donovan estimated, UH is projecting to come in at “$26.5 million to $27 million” in revenue.”

JD said that the decline in ticket sales came:
“in the second half of the (football and women’s volleyball seasons). The two rainy football games really hit us hard. I knew the economy was impacting us when we were playing the 13th-ranked team in the country (Cincinnati) on a sunny day, had just clinched a bowl berth and only (35,309) showed up.” (HA)

HA Note:”In addition, stock-based endowments have taken “major hits” and contributions have slowed, Donovan said.”

About how their staff isn’t to blame, JD said:
“This has nothing to do with our workers. I couldn’t be happier with the effort our staff has been making or with the coaches and student-athletes.” (HA)

Dane Uperesa turns down the 49ers and retires from football

December 31, 2008

About how he decided to retire from football after spending the past 2 seasons on the Bengals’ and Colts’ practice rosters, Uperesa said:
“It was something I was thinking about for a while. Football was always a vehicle for me.” (HA)

HA Note: “The San Francisco 49ers recently made former UH offensive lineman Dane Uperesa an offer he could refuse. The 49ers wanted to sign Uperesa to their practice squad with the hope of adding him to the full offseason roster. But Uperesa politely — everything he does is respectful — turned down that offer. He also had turned down other offers from NFL teams.”

About how he tried the NFL but decided on doing something else, Uperesa said:
“I’d be happier trying to live life in the real world.” (HA)

HA Note: “Uperesa’s fiancee is in dental school at Creighton University in Omaha. He has moved to Nebraska, and plans to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.”

About moving to Nebraska to earn a master’s degree, Uperesa said:
“I wanted it to be a decision made completely by myself. Football was always a way to get things I wanted. I got a great education (at UH), and I had the best five years of my life (there). I met some great people. I had a ton of fun. Now it’s over. I’m ready to move on. I’m very happy.” (HA)

The Hawaii Bowl had record TV ratings

December 30, 2008

About the huge TV rating for the Hawaii Bowl, the highest ever for the Hawaii Bowl and the highest of all ESPN Regional TV bowls, Hawaii Bowl Executive Director David Matlin said:
“It was a super rating and to say we are really pleased is an understatement.” (HA)

“We are thrilled with the record-breaking viewership of the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl. One of the goals of our executive committee is to showcase Hawai’i as a world-class destination.” (HA)

HA Note: “The game, thanks to the first appearance by storied Notre Dame, did a 3.03 rating live and, combined with the replay, a 3.70, equating to 2,974,000 households for the live showing and 3,636,000 households for the replay.”

HA Note: “The amount of so-called “net reach” viewers — the number of viewers who watched the game whether for a minute or in its entirety — is expected to be nearly 13 million, when those figures are released. The previous highs for the Hawai’i Bowl were set in UH’s 41-24 victory over Arizona State in 2006 when 2.3 million households tuned in.”

HA Note: “Attendance for the game, 43,487, was the highest in the bowl’s history. There were 45,718 tickets distributed for the game.”

Thanking UH and Notre Dame, Matlin said:
“A special thanks to the University of Hawai’i Warriors and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for providing a compelling matchup that led to millions of potential Hawai’i visitors watching the game during prime time. It did not hurt that most of the country was experiencing sub-freezing temperatures, too. In addition, a big mahalo needs to go out to the local community for supporting the game and providing us with record breaking attendance that made for great television for both our domestic and international audience.” (HA)

Mac says that Hawaii losing the Pro Bowl hurts Warrior recruiting

December 30, 2008

About how the Pro Bowl leaving Hawaii hurts Warrior recruiting, as they give tours of the empty Aloha Stadium to recruits, Mac said:
“The Pro Bowl gave credibility to the stadium. This (news) is too bad.” (HA)

About how Hawaii is the best place to hold the Pro Bowl, Mac said:
“It’s a neutral site. There are no NFL teams in Hawai’i. In Miami, you have the Dolphins. I’ve lived in Miami, and Hawai’i is better. No comparison — with the weather and the people.” (HA)

RB/OL Coach Alex Gerke leaves for Utah State

December 28, 2008

About Gerke joining his friend Gary Anderson, the new Utah State head coach, Mac said:
“I hope he is successful there. Gerke’s done nothing but good things for us. He’s been an outstanding coach.” (HA)

Mac said that Gerke had the RB coach title but he also served as an:
“assistant offensive line coach.” (HA)

About Gerke leaving for Utah State, Mac said:
“Gerke spent most of his career in Utah. The (Utah State) coach is a good friend of his. He’s a Utah guy.” (HA)

About how he will not hire Gerke’s replacement until after NLI day on February 4, Mac said:
“I want to focus on recruiting. I don’t want to take anything away from that. I want to get the right fit for our staff. I don’t want to rush into anything.” (HA)

HA Note: “McMackin said Gerke’s departure will not hinder recruiting. Gerke and Smith collaborated on recruiting offensive tackle Brent Leonard of Saddleback College. Last week, Leonard signed a scholarship agreement with the Warriors. Leonard will enroll at UH in January.”

About how he expects the new hire to also work with the OL, Mac said that two OL coaches can work together:
“absolutely.” (HA)

About taking his time replacing Gerke, Mac said:
“I’m going to be patient and not jump into anything. I don’t like to make emotional decisions. I want to take my time. Besides, you can only have seven guys on the road (recruiting). It doesn’t hurt us with recruiting.” (HA)

Mac talks about their 2008 season and plans for 2009

December 28, 2008

About how he’s already started working on their 2009 season, Mac said:
“I’m already thinking about ’09. I’ve already started working on it.” (HSB)

About how he’ll take some time off now (this is a dead period for recruiting) in Vegas, where he and his wife own a home, Mac said:
“I’m going to take about a week to evaluate the season and make some decisions and go from there.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Two days after the season-ending loss to Notre Dame in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, McMackin had already identified two areas of emphasis for next season — sacks and penalties. Hawaii quarterbacks were dropped for losses an NCAA-record 59 times. The Warriors also tied a school record with 122 penalties and broke the UH mark with 1,097 yards in infractions.”

About how recruiting is critical to avoid the big losses on offense and defense that they had over the past two seasons, Mac said:
“Recruiting is a real key because we can’t go year from year and lose one or the other group. We’ve got to stabilize our recruiting.” (HSB)

About how their QBs know the system already, unlike last year, Mac said:
“We won’t have to teach the quarterbacks the package. Greg understands it, Brent understands it. We shouldn’t ever be in that situation again.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Inoke Funaki started six games at quarterback and is expected to compete at running back next season.”

Reflecting on their season, Mac said:
“The players were supportive and loyal and we were all in it together. We had some good things happen and things that weren’t so good. This last game wasn’t so good, so we have to learn from that, recruit some good players and go from there.” (HSB)

The State of Hawaii was a winner in the Hawaii Bowl

December 26, 2008

About how they would have liked to have a close game, Hawaii Bowl Executive Director David Matlin said:
“Obviously from the bowl’s perspective you’d like to see a competitive game — I mean it was just a few things here and there and it would’ve have been a much closer game.” (KHON)

About how they set records for tickets sold and attendance, Matlin said:
“It was a very successful event. The record tickets issued — record turnstile — just great event.” (KHON)

About how ESPN is happy with the projected high TV ratings, Matlin said:
“They’re thrilled — I mean they’re thrilled about the partnership and the partnership with Hawaii — the Hawaii tourism authority — with the University of Hawaii.” (KHON)

About the high ratings for the Hawaii Bowl, Keith Vieira from Starwood said:
“The Hawaii Bowl traditionally has a very strong TV rating because on Christmas Eve people back east either having dinner or watching TV late at night have a chance to look at Hawaii in afternoon sun so it’s really perfect for us.” (KHON)

KHON Note: “But is it perfect for the home team? The U-H athletic department receives 400-thousand dollars for its appearance in the Hawaii Bowl but after subtracting expenses including hotel, food, transportation costs and coaches incentives, the department may find itself barely breaking even.”

About the Hawaii Bowl week of festivities, Matlin said:
“It was a great week, a great event and great weather and just a great experience for all.” (KHON)

KHON Note: “Even with the loss UH Head Football Coach Greg McMackin will receive a 20-thousand dollar bonus for making it to a non-BCS bowl game and had Hawaii won Coach Mac would have pocketed another 10-grand. His staff will also receive bonuses.”

About how the Hawaii Bowl helps their state, Matlin said:
“I think it just speaks a lot about the people of Hawaii and the aloha spirit is alive and well and I think that message goes back to the mainland and it just helps the whole state.” (KHON)

JJ Quote in CNBC

December 26, 2008

About why they practice a limited set of plays over and over, JJ said:
“Champions execute the fundamentals with unconscious competence. That means they’ve practiced the moves so many times in the past that they can do them almost perfectly without thinking about it. When you can perform brilliantly without thinking, you can perform at a very high level.” (CNBC)

The Warriors talk about the Hawaii Bowl and plans to improve for next season

December 26, 2008

About how they have to cut down on their sacks, Mac said:
“Right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got to eliminate sacks. We can’t give up that many sacks.” (HA)

HA Note: “The Warriors relinquished 59 sacks, more than any other NCAA Division I-A team has allowed in a season in the recorded history of the sport. They were sacked 18 times in the final three games.”

Asked if they would reorganize to try to solve the problem, Mac said:
“I have to do some more thinking about that.” (HA)

About how their top 3 CBs and top 3 safeties have completed their careers, Mac said:
“Last year, we lost our offense. This year, we’re losing our defense, and quite a bit of our offensive line. This year we’ll lose even more than we lost last year.” (HA)

About how Alexander will enter the spring as their #1 QB, Mac said:
“He can throw the ball when he’s not on his back. He’s done some really good things for us.” (HA)

HA Note: “Brent Rausch is expected to be No. 2. Shane Austin will be No. 3. McMackin said he expects Inoke Funaki, who started five games at quarterback, to move to running back.”

HA Note: “Meanwhile, several seniors have made plans to train on the Mainland in preparation for the NFL draft. Linebacker Adam Leonard will train in Tampa. Middle linebacker Solomon Elimimian also will train on the Mainland. Ingram, Mouton and defensive end David Veikune will rent a house in Carson, Calif., where they will train. UH’s Pro Day is scheduled for early March in Carson.”

About how UH will do well next season, Adam Leonard said:
“I have no doubt Hawai’i will be up around 10 wins and win the WAC next year.” (HA)

About how they will learn from the Hawaii Bowl loss, Alexander said:
“We’ll take a look at the film and see what we did (against Notre Dame), every game you play is a good learning experience. Saying that, our offensive output was just unacceptable. We’re going to look at it and hopefully learn from it. It was just one of those games.” (HSB)

About how he won’t let the Hawaii Bowl loss ruin what he thinks of their season, Mac said:
“We reached some pretty neat things this year, so I’m not going to let that ruin the good things we’ve done. It’s going to take me 48 hours to get over this thing and I’m probably not going to watch the film for a week.” (HSB)

About how they need to work hard during the offseason, Kealoha Pilares said:
“Just have to train harder and come back strong next year. We have a lot of good people coming back, so we just have to build on this year and just get better.” (HSB)

About how the team stayed together throughout the season despite their difficulties, Sol said:
“We stayed together as a team. We had Coach Mack’s back and he had our back and I feel that’s the best part of the season, just knowing there was a point where we could have quit and gone in a different direction, but we stayed together.” (HSB)

About how their pass rush rattled Alexander, Notre Dame safety David Bruton said:
“The coaches gave the defensive ends the green light to go. They’re all aware of the three-step drop, so they all put their hands up and batted down a lot of balls. That can easily rattle a quarterback.” (HSB)

About how they only sacked Clausen once and hurried him twice, David Veikune said:
“Any team that max protects, you won’t be able to get to him, and that’s what they did most of the time. Secondly that was the best tackle (Notre Dame’s Sam Young) I’ve faced this year – he’s a challenge. We didn’t put on as much pressure as we should have.” (HSB)

About the TD pass for Notre Dame where he was complaining before the play was over, Jameel Dowling said:
“It was a push-off, and I didn’t get the call, but you can’t use that as an excuse.” (HSB)

Pac-10 unlikely to fill their spot in the Hawaii Bowl

December 26, 2008

About how they hope that the Pac-10 will be able to send a team to the Hawaii Bowl next year, Hawaii Bowl executive director David Matlin said that:
“it will be a challenge.” (HA)

HA Note: “The Hawai’i Bowl is scheduled to get the seventh pick of bowl-eligible Pac-10 teams, if the conference qualifies that many for the postseason. This year the Pac-10 was contracted to send its sixth to Hawai’i and seventh to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego but only managed to field five that were bowl-eligible.”

About why the Pac-10 has less bowl-eligible teams lately, Matlin said:
“When they (the Pac-10) went to round-robin scheduling it made it harder to get teams (bowl eligible).” (HA)

HA Note: “When the NCAA approved a 12-game regular season schedule for 2007, the Pac-10 chose to add a league game and go to a nine-game conference schedule rather than have its members pick up an additional non-conference game. The nine other Football Bowl Subdivision conferences all play seven- or eight-game conference schedules.”

Hoping that UH and a quality opponent will be in the Hawaii Bowl, ESPN Regional TV VP Pete Derzis said:
“Hopefully, we’ll have a Hawai’i team again and I’m confident we’ll have a quality opponent for them. But you never know what is going to happen in the business. We didn’t get a Pac-10 team this year and it turned out to be a blessing because we were able to get Notre Dame. It (the Irish and UH) was the perfect recipe for success.” (HA)

HA Note: “Had Matlin not been able to land the Fighting Irish, UH would have likely been matched against a team from the Mid-American Conference or Conference USA.”