D-II athletes suddenly in demand
WHY isn't there more hoopla? Why isn't this a bigger deal? BYU-Hawaii, Chaminade, UH-Hilo and Hawaii Pacific are starting up women's basketball and men's and women's soccer teams. Full teams! From scratch! By the beginning of next school year!
This is incredible. This is amazing. This is huge.
Am I the only one excited about this?
"It's very exciting," HPU athletic director Jill Ward said this week.
Thank goodness. I was beginning to feel like the Hoo Ha Two-Times Tuesday guy.
"If you look at the sports that we're offering it's really going to be a great opportunity for local students," Hawaii-Hilo AD Kathleen McNally said.
Exactly. Immediately. Starting right now.
How many soccer players are coming out of this state? How many women's basketball players had to go to the mainland or weren't quite Division I?
It's going to be interesting, watching these teams built from the ground up, out of nowhere. Now, suddenly, several coaches -- presumably several of them local coaches -- will have college jobs.
(Hold on. Just a March Madness NCAA Tournament side note here. Isn't Northwestern State the team that Hawaii beat -- with what I call the Hiram Thompson Miracle -- without Julian Sensley, Bobby Nash and Matt Gibson in the lineup? It is, yeah? Remember when Michigan State's Tom Izzo was whining about the lineup he had for stretches against UH, the guys he was without? Well, that's the kind of lineup Hawaii had for much of its season. It's incredible what Riley Wallace and his guys did -- with who they had -- this year to finish just short of the NIT. It was amazing that they made that run to be in it at the end. Playing true freshmen. Going to -- gasp! -- a zone. It was incredible that Wallace and his guys had any business making a charge for second in the WAC, to be in the position to almost pull it off. But of course no one will feel this way -- including them -- because finishing just short of the NIT never feels like an accomplishment. But as the years go by, as they remember that run, they'll know. Now back to your regularly scheduled column ...)
It boggles the mind how all these new intercollegiate sports teams are going to get up and running in a few months, where the players are going to come from, where the money is going to come from.
"Right now everybody's just evaluating what they need to do to get from Point A to Point B," UH-Hilo's McNally said.
But it is exciting. It is huge. Can't wait to see which coaching announcement comes first. Hoo ha.