Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, July 24, 2001


UH braces for
refund requests

Hawaii hopes to print, and
send out season tickets early
to meet Sept. 18 deadline

UH to play San Diego State in 2002

By Dave Reardon

Now that refunds will be made available for the University of Hawaii's football game against Fresno State, UH is figuring out how to get them out. But first it has to get the actual season-ticket packages in the mail earlier than originally planned.

The athletic department was still ironing out the procedure to provide refunds for the game, which was moved from 6:05 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 to 4:05 p.m., Friday, Oct. 26. The change drew ire from some season-ticket holders inconvenienced by the switch.

Associate athletic director Jim Donovan said UH is trying to get the mainland company that prints its football tickets (as well as those for many other college teams) to move the UH printing job up from late August so the tickets can be mailed out sooner and refunds can be taken care of by Sept. 18, a deadline set by new UH president Evan Dobelle.

UH originally planned to have the tickets printed and distributed late because its first home game is not until Sept. 29, against Rice. UH plays Montana on Sept. 8 on Maui (not part of the season-ticket package) and Sept. 15 at Nevada.

After the UH-FSU game was moved to Friday afternoon at the request of ESPN and the WAC, UH had planned to provide refunds only to those season-ticket holders willing to give up their entire package of tickets -- along with benefits their seniority might provide.

But Dobelle said last week single-game refunds will be provided to those who want a refund.

"We did screw up. We made a mistake and we will offer refunds for the Fresno State game," Donovan said yesterday. "We should have taken the extra step and said you could get a refund for just the Fresno State game."

Donovan said the athletic department was trying to avoid a loss of income that might have been worse than the one it suffered when it offered refunds during last spring's UHPA strike.

"We refunded 35 percent of men's volleyball tickets and 60 percent of baseball. We did not want to refund 30 or 40 percent of the tickets for the Fresno State football game.

"We got about 11 calls since we announced the change (of the game day). But some of them were very vocal."

Athletic director Hugh Yoshida estimated that the refunds could total between $100,000 and $125,000.

Dobelle said last week he was looking at ways for the business community to help recoup anticipated lost revenue from the refunds. Also, the WAC and UH have been working on compensation for a shortfall.

The Nov. 24 game between Hawaii and Air Force reportedly may also be moved from Saturday to Friday, which might cause more refund requests -- which the athletic department would accommodate, Donovan said.

"Right now we're in the air and asking how much higher we should jump," Donovan said.

In another matter, most of the University of Hawaii athletic department's $300,000-plus surplus at the end of the fiscal year three weeks ago was unexpected, Donovan said.

But it turned out to be not much of a windfall, at least for the athletic department.

UH learned June 27 it would receive around $150,000 before the end of last month from the Western Athletic Conference and $70,000 in licensing fees -- money that it didn't expect until after the end of the fiscal year, Donovan said.

The $150,000 per-school had been earmarked by the WAC athletic directors to go toward debts incurred from the Humanitarian Bowl and Silicon Valley Football Classic. But the conference university presidents overrode that vote and had the money sent to the schools. (Dobelle was not UH president yet and was not involved in that vote.)

But a UH rule prohibits spending between June 22 and the end of June, which is the end of the fiscal year.

Two weeks ago Dobelle said the university would take some of the surplus from the athletic department.

"The deposits came in, but we couldn't spend it. It was too late to use it on computers or supplies," Donovan said. "We used to keep any surplus as an emergency fund, in case we had a bad year.

"But the new president is trying to develop more of a bond between the athletic and academic sides," Donovan said. "My understanding is that it's one-for-all and all-for-one now. In good years we will share with upper campus, and if we come up short we'll get help, assuming the loss is not from mismanagement."

Dobelle was on the mainland yesterday and unavailable for comment.

UH adds San Diego State
to football schedule

The verbal agreement
sets games in December
of 2002 and 2005

By Dave Reardon

The University of Hawaii has made a verbal agreement to add another Mountain West Conference team to its football schedule.

UH and former Western Athletic Conference opponent San Diego State have agreed to play on Dec. 7, 2002 and Dec. 3, 2005 at Aloha Stadium, officials from both schools' athletic departments confirmed today.

SDSU replaces Arizona on Hawaii's 2002 schedule. The Wildcats pulled out of their Aug. 31 game against the Warriors because of a schedule conflict.

"We'll line up and play whoever," UH head coach June Jones said this morning. "I wish we were still playing Arizona and still playing Iowa State (which pulled out of a game for the upcoming season). I don't know how they get out of these contracts. But San Diego State certainly revives some old rivalries and that's a positive."

Hawaii is 7-15-2 against San Diego State. The teams last met in 1998, when the Aztecs beat the Rainbows for the ninth-consecutive time. That was the last season before the breakup of the old WAC.

The Warriors also play former WAC and current Mountain West members Brigham Young (Nov. 24) and Air Force (Dec. 1) this season at Aloha Stadium.

In other UH news, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi athletic director Dan Viola said his men's basketball team is "tentatively set up" to play in one of the Rainbows' preseason tournaments in 2002.

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