UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ATHLETICS
MSU dispute holds up 2007 slate
Hawaii will not complete and announce its football schedule for next season -- which includes three or four nonconference vacancies -- until the issue of Michigan State's contracted game for Nov. 24, 2007, is resolved, UH athletic director Herman Frazier said Thursday.
He said there is no timetable for when that might be.
Michigan State wants to pull out of the game. If it does so, UH wants to hold MSU to a $250,000 fee for doing so. If UH announces a replacement before resolution of the issue, it could affect collection of the fee. The issue is being handled by attorneys representing the schools.
Also, Frazier said the Michigan State game could still happen, especially since the Spartans will have a new coach in 2007.
"We haven't finalized Michigan State. It's still under discussion," Frazier said. "Depending on Michigan State, I don't know which way that might go."
UH has eight conference games (four home, four away) and a road game set at UNLV for Sept. 15.
"It will fall into place," Frazier said.
He said he is in contact with schools that want to play Hawaii, but did not disclose the names. He did say Louisville called him last week to schedule a 2007 game, but Frazier declined because it would be at Louisville.
"If I'm going to do that, I might as well play at Georgia," Frazier said.
He said he wants to schedule a "marquee" team. When asked to define "marquee," Frazier said "top 20."
Frazier said his plan is to schedule a "big-time anchor on the back end," meaning Thanksgiving weekend or the first week of December (most likely at home), then a "decent team on the front end," and a I-AA team.
"Perhaps another team (in addition to UNLV) on the road," Frazier said. "But it all depends on who the anchor is. And my anchor depends on what happens with the Michigan State part."
He said next year's schedule will have seven or eight home games. Frazier said he doesn't want to put one together right now and settle for less than what he considers ideal.
"To have a schedule is not the issue. What I'm trying to do is go after a certain mix. Otherwise I could have the games. We hold out until we get the best deal going. That's how we do it. I'm going to do what's best for us," Frazier said. "Now, at the end of the day, I'm gonna fill it all up, one way or the other. But that's not a problem, because I know just what's out there. I can go get a schedule tomorrow, but it's not the optimum schedule."
Beyond next year, Hawaii has contracts for nonconference games against Florida (2008), Washington State (2008, 2009, 2011), Navy (2009), UNLV (2009, 2010, 2011), Wisconsin (2009) and USC (2010).