Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, December 14, 2001


No 13th game
for Warriors

UH President Dobelle says
he hopes to use the momentum
to revive a Hawaii bowl

By Dave Reardon

It's final. The 2001 Hawaii football team's season is completed.

The NCAA rejected a request from UH to certify a Christmas Day game yesterday.

But university president Evan Dobelle said the school's attempt to create its own game can give impetus to reviving an annual bowl game in Hawaii. The Aloha and Oahu bowls were played here until this year.

"Obviously, we're disappointed," Dobelle said. "But that was this morning. This afternoon we were talking about what has to be done to get a bowl game here. We want to take advantage of the momentum."

The Warriors finished the season 9-3 after Saturday's 72-45 victory over Brigham Young. But Hawaii was not invited to play in a bowl game, prompting Dobelle, athletic director Hugh Yoshida and Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson to look into UH organizing its own game.

Dobelle said enough money had been raised and other considerations promised from the community to guarantee covering expenses for such a game.

"This was very instructive for me because people say Hawaii can't support a game," he said. "In reality this was an exercise where I learned the support is here for a bowl game."

At least one group has filed for certification to revive an annual bowl game in Hawaii, but that won't happen until 2003 at the earliest.

UH's request for a 13th game was given "thorough consideration," but the NCAA's rejection was based on the precedent approving such a game would set, according to a release from the university.

"We thanked the NCAA for their consideration," Yoshida said.

NCAA certification was just one of several roadblocks to the improbable venture.

Although money was raised and ESPN was open to televising such a game, getting a team to play the Warriors was problematic at best.

Most teams finished their seasons nearly two weeks ago. Players were released and some had dealt with agents, making them ineligible.

Still there were 17 bowl-eligible teams that weren't invited to games. Dobelle said in the release that Rice was willing to play Hawaii. The Owls beat the Warriors 27-24 at Aloha Stadium this season.

"Rice is an excellent team and we would have looked forward to a rematch," Dobelle said.

Dobelle said he doesn't consider the attempt a wasted effort.

"I think we sent a message that whether it's athletics or academics I'll never settle until we try everything across the board," he said.

UH Athletics

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