Frazier trying to deal on Maui
The Hawaii AD aims to work with the Maui Invitational
Though his school wasn't among the teams participating in the EA Sports Maui Invitational, University of Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier was hard at work at the Lahaina Civic Center yesterday.
Frazier said he's had preliminary discussions with officials from EA Sports and KemperSports, which operate the Maui Invitational, about creating football/basketball package deals with schools participating in the annual tournament for as early as the 2008 season.
He's said he's also talking to teams about the possibility of scheduling single games with the Rainbow Warrior basketball team or playing in future Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classics.
"It's still preliminary right now, but we've gotten some really positive feedback," Frazier said.
Frazier said the discussions started "three or four months ago" and that he discussed the possibilities with tournament chairman Dave Gavitt, the former commissioner of the Big East Conference, chairman emeritus Wayne Duke, former head of the Big Ten, and KemperSports Executive Vice President Dave Greeley.
"We have to take advantage of this, this tournament's been over here forever," Frazier said.
Frazier said having the Purdue basketball team on Maui this week and the Boilermaker football team visiting Aloha Stadium on Saturday weren't tied together. But the confluence did spark the interest of both UH and tournament officials.
"Given the presence and popularity of University of Hawaii athletics, and being that we've had this event for a really long while, it seemed natural to sit down with Herman and get to know each other as neighbors in Hawaii," Greeley said. "We're just developing a business relationship and what that means, the future's going to tell. But certainly there's great combinations and great synergy to that. Anything we do would be intended to strengthen and fortify the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
"This is the premier college basketball in-season event. So if forging some sort of strategic alliance with the University of Hawaii would ... keep it the best we would certainly look at that."