UH budget too close to call
Herman Frazier says it's too close to declare a profit for a second straight year
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Schools around the Western Athletic Conference benefited financially from Boise State's berth in the Bowl Championship Series last year. Whether the bigger than usual payout from the league helped the Hawaii athletic department edge into the black for the just completed fiscal year remains to be seen.
The books for the 2006-07 year closed on June 30, and UH athletic director Herman Frazier said it's too close to declare whether the department turned a profit for a second straight year.
The athletic department made $7,483 for 2005-06 to end a four-year stretch of deficits. Frazier said the figures for this year are still being finalized and the department, which will continue to carry a cumulative deficit into the new fiscal calendar, is preparing for its annual audit.
Frazier was also keeping tabs on the developments both in Fresno, Calif. -- where a former Fresno State volleyball coach was awarded $5.85 million, pending an appeal, in her gender-equity suit against the school -- and closer to home with the completion of basketball coach Bob Nash's coaching staff.
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The Hawaii athletic department closed the recently completed fiscal year close to the break-even point, and Herman Frazier said it's too early to determine whether the balance will be marked in red or black.
"It's going to be close, that's all I can say," the Hawaii athletic director said yesterday when asked about the final tally.
Frazier said the figures for the fiscal year that ended on June 30 were still being processed and the department is preparing for its annual audit which will ultimately determine whether UH turned a profit for the second straight year.
"I won't talk about exactly where we are because we're still closing some things," he said.
"It all depends on how everything falls into place. It takes time to clear up some of the accountables, transfers, and things like that."
According to the final audit for the 2005-06 fiscal year released last January, the athletic department showed a profit of $7,483, finishing in the black for the first time since 2002. If the department shows another profit for this year, those proceeds will go toward chipping away a cumulative deficit of approximately $2.3 million.
The department's balance was aided by the payout from the Western Athletic Conference of about $1 million. Each WAC school's total was boosted by the league's share of the Bowl Championship Series proceeds from Boise State's appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.
Frazier said the enhanced WAC payout will help cover areas where the department fell short.
"Whereas we received more money (from the WAC) than we had before, in certain sports we didn't make our projections, so it's kind of a wash," Frazier said. "There's no question it helps overcome other shortcomings."
Hawaii has been getting some early mention for a possible BCS berth if the Warriors can run the table, which Frazier said may depend on where the team starts the season in the national polls. A posting on ESPN.com last week cited UH's schedule as the second-easiest in the country, but Frazier said the back end of the slate gives the Warriors a chance to move up.
"The key is starting in the polls and then after that you just have to let the chips fall where they may," said Frazier.
Lessons from Fresno
Frazier was among the college administrators keeping an eye on the developments in former Fresno State volleyball coach Lindy Vivas suit against the WAC school.
A jury awarded Vivas, a Punahou graduate, $5.85 million on Monday in her suit alleging her contract was not renewed in part for being outspoken on gender equity issues such as access to facilities for women athletes. Fresno State will appeal the decision.
"You knock on wood and make sure you do the right thing at your program so you're not putting your university in that situation," Frazier said. "All I can tell you is we try to do everything even."
Frazier oversaw women's sports at Arizona State for a decade and said his experience working with the U.S. Olympic Committee also gave him a perspective on gender equity.
"You don't see it as men's and women's, you see it as the U.S. team," he said. "That's what I see at the University of Hawaii."
Frazier praised the hiring of former UCLA coach Larry Farmer to the UH basketball coaching staff last week. Farmer and Eran Ganot were hired as assistants by head coach Bob Nash to join associate coach Jackson Wheeler on the staff.
"I think Larry Farmer is a great addition to our staff," Frazier said. "I think he brings West Coast ties, he was a head coach at an early age at a very powerful program. The fact that he wants to leave Illinois and broadcasting and come out and work with Nash is a testimony to Nash and also to Larry."