UH associate AD John McNamara is targeting the students
With the Hawaii football team enjoying unprecedented national attention, the athletic department is focusing on boosting support within the Manoa campus.
"We've really made that a priority this year," UH associate athletic director John McNamara said in reference to several student promotions.
"I think the (student) response for football is going to be tremendous, probably the best we've ever seen. We want to make sure that translates into our other sports as well."
As of Monday, the school had sold 660 student season tickets for football, up from 514 last year, and 117 all-sports passes good for any 10 UH sporting events.
Given the commuter nature of the school and having Aloha Stadium more than 10 miles off campus, rounding up the student population for games can be tricky for the department.
"It's tough when you have 3,000 residential students," McNamara said. "Those challenges have been in place for a long time and we're trying to address the feedback we hear from students and structure a package for them."
UH students had accounted for 1,100 of the 28,800 tickets distributed for the Warriors' season opener against Northern Colorado -- which has been dubbed "Student Night" -- with a free ticket within the student sections promotion ongoing.
Students with a valid ID can pick up a free ticket at the Stan Sheriff Center box office through Friday. McNamara said the UH-Manoa chancellor's office is also sponsoring six buses which can transport 300 students each from the campus to Aloha Stadium for the Warriors' seven home games.
"The whole goal is to get the students out early, show them how important they are to the electricity and excitement of the event," McNamara said. "We want to do everything we can to entice the students to come on out."
Overall, UH has sold about 22,300 season tickets, up from 18,125 last year, and McNamara said the department is projecting to issue around 34,000 tickets for Saturday's game.
"I think with everything we're doing over the next four days we might be a little north of that number," McNamara said.
Also, McNamara said meetings with officials regarding allegations made by former Warrior receiver Ian Sample are ongoing, though any comment on recommendations or policies that might arise won't be made until the review process is complete.
"They want to be expeditious but they also want to be thorough," McNamara said. "They want to make sure they talk to all the necessary parties and make sure everything is evaluated and addressed."
McNamara said the NCAA has not contacted the school regarding the issues raised by Sample, which included academic cheating by athletes.
"Typically, they let the institutions do their own review and see what they discover and if they feel it's necessary, then they'll step in as well," McNamara said.