It would have been better for Frazier if he leveled with UH fans
IT'S downright Shakespearean, the way this thing has played out. OK, maybe that's not right. It's a Greek tragedy. No, maybe that's not it, either. I'm not sure. I got a "C" in English that quarter.
It's like a fairy tale. No ... what word am I looking for?
Well, it's like something!
You know what I mean, when it comes to Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier and this football scheduling mess.
It's more than just the schedule itself. It's that, too. But that's not why this is as big or as bad as it is.
It was how it was handled.
He could have come up with the same end result -- and yes, it still would have been a mess no matter what, he still would have taken hits, probably gone down a notch or two in his public-approval rating -- but he could have come up with the same end result, and it wouldn't have been near the nuclear meltdown it's become. He could have come out of this OK. If he'd handled it differently.
If he'd handled himself differently.
He should have told us it was a tough job and it might go down to the wire. He could have defused the situation by leveling with the fans.
Instead, the opposite. By now you know every boast, every quote. You know the expression "Keep digging"?
Now, this is what happened. Here he is. A PR nightmare. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
It didn't have to be this way.
It was hubris that did this.
It's Shakespearean. (No, it isn't.)
He's brought this upon himself.
Frazier has done some good things at UH. He found the money for June Jones' big contract. He implemented the premium-seating revenue stream. He got the budget officially back in the black. All of those things came with some backlash. Criticism of how he did it if not what he did. That's life as an AD. In the end, they're on the plus side.
But Frazier's most impressive accomplishment in his time at UH was in simply making everyone forget that he's the last of the Dobelle men still around.
When Evan Dobelle -- who had his own self-inflicted Shakespearean saga going on -- was ousted (in part for the perception that he was overpromising and underdelivering, ahem), somehow we forgot that Frazier was one of his biggest hires. When Dobelle envisioned who he wanted, it was Frazier he saw: "A global athletic director." "A true American hero."
He was a Dobelle guy. Frazier's greatest accomplishment was in making everybody forget that.
Last week, we remembered.
The problem with filling out the schedule was big enough. But he's made it infinitely bigger. Unfortunately. It didn't have to turn out this way.