Lawyers discuss UH, MSU dispute
Frazier says the Spartans are making excuses to opt out of the 2007 game and not pay a fee
The Hawaii and Michigan State athletic departments have turned their dispute over to lawyers.
The disagreement is over the Spartans' football game at Hawaii slated -- or not, depending whom you talk to -- for Nov. 24, 2007.
"I know our general counsel is in contact with Hawaii's," MSU associate athletic director John Lewandowski said.
That seems to be one of the few things the Spartans and Warriors agree on right now.
"It's between our attorneys and their attorneys," UH athletic director Herman Frazier said.
Lewandowski said the Spartans sent a letter to UH in January, requesting out of the contracted game because "it's not in our best interest to ask our kids to play 13 games."
Lewandowski said Michigan State (which lost to Hawaii here in 2004 and beat the Warriors in East Lansing last season) has no plans to play the Warriors again. Playing a 13th game that late in the season would interfere with school too much, Lewandowski said. "We'd rather have a game at the front end of the schedule."
When the NCAA voted last year to allow an additional game (12 for most teams, 13 for those playing a game in Hawaii) beginning this season, Michigan State added a home game against UAB to the start of its schedule before Big Ten play.
"It's just Michigan State ... has been whining and crying. All of a sudden they came up with the excuse of a 13th game," Frazier
said yesterday, on the Bobby Curran radio show.
Part of the issue is a $250,000 cancellation fee clause. Michigan State's contention is that it doesn't owe the money because it gave notice in January and offered to help find a replacement team.
The Warriors have just one nonconference game scheduled for next year, Sept. 15 at UNLV. That leaves at least three vacancies, or four counting Michigan State.
"If I want to sign four games tomorrow, I can sign four games tomorrow," Frazier said.
Coach June Jones said he's not worried.
"I don't think that's a problem," Jones said. "I don't think anybody's panicking. I don't know if Michigan State's off. If they don't want to come here, we'll go there."
Hercules undergoes exam:
Starting left guard Hercules Satele underwent an MRI test yesterday to determine the extent of a knee sprain suffered in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game and his availability for this week's game at Fresno State.
Satele said he did not suffer much swelling, and he was able to attend team meetings yesterday.
"It doesn't seem that bad. We'll see (today)," Satele said.
Laupepa Letuli replaced Satele for the final 7 minutes Saturday.
Receivers healing up:
Starting receivers Ian Sample (hamstring) and Ross Dickerson (hip contusion) and second-team slot Aaron Bain (food poisoning) did not participate in conditioning drills yesterday, but will likely be available for Saturday's game.
"We'll see how they run in practice (today)," receivers coach Ron Lee said.
Starting slot Ryan Grice-Mullins (ankle) said he will try to practice this week after missing the last two games.
"I don't think he'll play this week," Jones said. "He'll try to go. But my experience with quick guys is they don't come back as quick with those type of injuries. But we'll see. He'll probably try to come back on Tuesday or Wednesday."
Slotback, one of the Warriors' deepest positions going into the season, seems a little shallow now -- especially since Marquez Jackson is now playing basketball and Pat Olchovy has left the team to focus on graduating in December.
Sample, who has four touchdowns in the last two games, has a recurring hamstring strain he first suffered in fall camp.
"Hopefully, he'll be able to go. We'll see how he is," Jones said. "We'll move Chad (Mock) over there and we'll rotate some guys around. We've got depth, both in the O-line and at receiver. We'll be all right."
A few hours after Colt Brennan was named WAC offensive player of the week, Jones said he's the best at his position in the nation.
"I really can't imagine another quarterback in the country better than him right now," Jones said. "Is there somebody more talented? Maybe. But they're not playing in the system and doing what he's doing and proving it every week."
Brennan moved past Garrett Gabriel into second on UH's all-time passing-yardage list with a season-high 419 yards. He completed 36 of 47 passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions.