The devil you know…

Although Boise State’s departure leaves the rest of the WAC on shaky ground, I don’t see how going independent is a viable option for Hawaii.  Football scheduling, as the linked article notes, would be a nightmare in the middle of the season (don’t forget that UH found itself in a deep hole in 2007 when two D-1 schools bailed out on playing the Warriors).  And even Notre Dame gave up on going it alone in all of its other sports programs.

The scariest part of going that route, though, would be Hawaii’s total reliance on ESPN for its survival.

… While UH receives upwards of $2.5 million for its TV and pay-per-view rights, it would likely have to strike a wide-ranging deal with ESPN if it were to consider going independent. When June Jones was the UH coach, he floated the idea of selling ESPN on a last-game-of-the-night package for UH home games, a concept that has long had appeal at UH but is currently prevented by the school’s rights being tied to the WAC agreement with ESPN.

ESPN’s cooperation on a couple of fronts would be important for any UH bid for independence since without the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, which ESPN subsidiary ESPN Regional TV (ERT) owns and operates, the school would have no conference affiliation to fall back on for a postseason bid.

In addition, ERT owns and operates the Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament, which UH hosts.

That gives a whole new meaning to “independent”.

(h/t Her Loyal Sons)


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

4 responses to “The devil you know…

  1. Doug

    I seem to recall Georgia incurring a net loss on their appearance in the 2000 Oahu Bowl, even with the bowl’s payout factored in — that’s how expensive it is to travel there, from the Eastern Time Zone, at least. Obviously it’d be cheaper for teams coming from the West Coast, but I just don’t see UH being able to lure six or seven teams out to Honolulu on an annual basis.


  2. Not to mention that they play in a half full run down stadium. When I lived out there June Jones was trying to schedule at least 2 of the service academies per year to try and lure in the military crowd to home games.

    Bottom line is that in Oahu there are so many things to do that going to watch an average (at best) Hawai’i football team play WAC or worse schools is low on the priority list. Bad move UH!


  3. Gen. Stoopnagle

    Why does Hawaii even have a football team?

    What’s the point?

    For most, the point is to get the institutuion’s name out there and recognizable in the higher education marketplace to bolster, they claim, fundraising and student recruitment. Does UH need to do this, though? Couldn’t you recruit students from under-built California simply with the lure of “It’s Hawaii”? And are you bleeding HS grads from the island to mainland institutions that you’re somehow going to keep by having football?

    If I were president at Hawaii, I’d use the dissolution of the WAC to suspend or kill football. I just don’t see how they are getting a return to make it worth it. Surely with the travel expenses, they aren’t able to raise revenue? It’s likely (I don’t know) that UH is funding a lot of this through student fees as well – money which could be put to better use or at least returned to students…

    But, hey, I don’t ultimately care. If Hawaii gets the late-night Saturday special after the 10 pm Fox Pacific Pac10 snoozer, that’s just more football I may actually get to see. Score.


  4. JC in Powder Springs

    I had the awesome pleasure of visiting Hawaii a few years ago. Some of the folks I met were great FB fans – knew plenty about the Dawgs, SEC, college ball, etc. Unfortunately, it’s not very feasible to bring mainland teams out to the mid-Pacific to play a game. It’s probably the only issue where I feel bad for folks living in Hawaii.