Frazier to his critics: Judge me by my record
Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier has recently come under continual criticism in the local mainstream media and from the public via radio show calls and Web sites.
Some UH fans have gone as far as to call for his firing because of his handling of scheduling for the 2007 football season. There is even a Web site that advertises clothing, coffee mugs and other items for sale with his picture and the words "Fire Herman Frazier."
"I've heard about that," said Frazier, whose $250,000-a-year contract is up in 2010.
But Frazier said he is not bothered by the criticism. He said it is outweighed by positive feedback.
"I've gotten calls, e-mails, regular mail of support. I don't go by message boards, which is an escape for people who want to hide. I can only go by reality," Frazier said Friday. "The chancellor's evaluation. That's reality. How is my performance from the chancellor's perspective?"
He has received positive evaluations from interim Manoa chancellor Denise Konan, but will have a new boss July 1, Virginia Hinshaw.
Frazier must also answer to the UH Board of Regents. He said he remains an effective athletic director because he has the support of the regents.
"If I made a mistake or miscalculation, that happens. I'm not going to let it (negate) my 28-year career because someone wants to blow something out of proportion. I can't react to that," he said. "If I wasn't doing what I was supposed to do, how could we pull off what we did with the basketball salary? If everything's going wrong, how do you do that?"
The BOR approved an increase to up to $500,000 a year for a new basketball coach to replace Riley Wallace, who made $275,000 this season.
The issue of Wallace's last contract, which basically forced him out after 20 years as UH head coach, is another source of fan discontent with Frazier. The athletic director was booed loudly at the Stan Sheriff Center during the celebration after Wallace's last home game March 3.
It's bad timing for an athletic director to have to deal with displeasure from the program's football and basketball fans and boosters at the same time. Frazier was asked if he sensed a "piling on" element.
"I'm not going to get into that," he said. "You can figure that out on your own."
Frazier said he should be judged by his overall record, which includes a balanced budget.
"With the exception of the schedule, we've passed every other test," he said.
He also said he isn't trying to pass blame and accountability.
"It's like I told the Board of Regents when they asked about the schedule," he said. "'It starts and stops with me.'"
Some of Frazier's statements, especially in regard to the schedule, have sounded more of hubris than humility, and haven't played well to UH fans -- especially when they were led to expect a complete schedule or something close to it on several occasions and none was delivered.
Frazier has not been as accessible to the media as predecessors Ray Nagel, Stan Sheriff and Hugh Yoshida, and often provides quotes through a spokeswoman. This approach has not helped his public image.
"Certain people in the print media have their own agenda," Frazier said.