UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ATHLETICS
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Herman Frazier said he took "12-to-14" trips for football and "five-to-seven" for either WAC or NCAA meetings.
Frazier to face questions Monday
Herman Frazier has logged a lot of miles in his five years as Hawaii athletic director.
Rep. Jerry Chang (D, South Hilo) said yesterday he'd like to learn more about some of that travel.
Chang, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, wants Frazier to provide information about his travel over the past three years at an informational briefing Monday at the State Capitol for lawmakers. Frazier said he has nothing to hide.
Since announcing the upcoming briefing, Chang has fielded complaints from the public about Frazier, including regarding the amount of time Frazier spends away from Hawaii at state expense.
Frazier said travel is a big part of his job, much of it is mandatory and some of it is to advance UH's reputation in the college sports world.
"I think people need to understand you want an aggressive athletic director who sits on national committees," Frazier said. "It's not by mistake the WAC put me on the football issues committee. It's because I was president of the Fiesta Bowl and knew all the football coaches, and they know I know all the administrators there."
Frazier -- who has come under fire for UH's incomplete football schedule and other issues -- also said the travel doesn't interfere with his other duties.
"Work never stops," he said. "You're on the computer, you're on the telephone," Frazier said. "When I look at my mentors in this business, like Kevin White at Notre Dame, I guarantee you he is on campus no more than two or three days a week.
"All I know is I don't do anything different than any of my colleagues," he added.
Rep. Jerry Chang (D, South Hilo) said yesterday he will request that Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier bring his travel records from the past three years to an informational briefing at the state Legislature on Monday.
The briefing is scheduled for 2 p.m. at room 309 of the State Capitol. It is open to the public, but there will be no public testimony.
Chang, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, said he's received "20 and still coming in" complaints about Frazier since announcing the briefing last week, and some cite travel issues.
"I'm hearing a lot about how dissatisfied people are," Chang said.
Yesterday afternoon Frazier said he had not yet been asked by Chang to bring the travel records.
"I'm not sure what travel information you mean, because I haven't talked to Rep. Chang about that. But all the travel I do on behalf of the university is paid for by the university. All the jobs I do for other (organizations) is paid by them. Whatever anyone wants to ask us about that, we'll make that available," Frazier said.
Frazier said many of the meetings he attends on the mainland are mandatory, and it is common practice for athletic directors to spend as much as half of their working time on the road.
"Every athletic director in America travels extensively as part of their job," said Frazier, who also spent a lot of time away from Hawaii with work related to the 2004 Olympics. "But I haven't been to an Olympic meeting since '04. I'm not sure where the travel issue comes from.
"If you ask me how much travel I've done the last two years, you know this, 12 to 14 (trips) are for football, five to seven are either WAC or NCAA meetings.
"That's 75 percent of it right there. Take out those things, I'm not sure what else is left."
Frazier, the UH athletic director since 2002, has been heavily criticized for months on several fronts, including not completing Hawaii's 2007 football schedule and a hiring process for a new basketball coach deemed too lengthy by some.
Chang said Monday's briefing is not meant to be a "lynch Herman Frazier hearing, like people would like it to be.
"That's why we're not taking public testimony. We want to learn about plans and revenue sources," Chang said.
"If the legislation is needed to be done in the next session for things like funding requirements, we need to know right away.
"It's for the members (of the House and Senate education committees) to sit and listen and after have an opportunity to ask questions," Chang added. "That may turn into a lynching mob, because I'm sure some members are getting input from the public to ask certain questions."
UH quarterback Colt Brennan's published comments two weeks ago ripping UH's facilities spurred Monday's briefing, Chang said. But Chang said he had originally hoped to be briefed by Frazier months ago.
"We planned on this, had planned it before the session," Chang said. "We get the UH president and the chancellors to give us overviews about issues like funding and priorities and plans. Because I'm a sports fan, I wanted to hear from Herman Frazier, primarily about coaches' salaries. But we got so tied up with the session, we didn't have time to schedule it.
"When the Colt Brennan thing came up, people asked, 'What can be done?' The answer is exactly what we'll be doing."
Frazier said he looks at the briefing as a chance to show positive aspects of the UH athletic department.
"I think this will enlighten people as to what really goes on," he said. "We don't have anything to hide and I look forward to coming down there and sharing with them all the good things we have done at this university. ... If you look at all that's been accomplished here the past five years, to have all of that weighed against two particular incidents, I'm not sure is fair. But that's OK, this will give us the opportunity to show how we feel and also enlighten people as to what we have done."
Frazier said he plans to have football coach June Jones and others from the athletic department with him at the briefing.