STAR-BULLETIN / SEPTEMBER 2007
Fans at the University of Hawaii football game against Charleston Southern hold signs at Aloha Stadium commenting on UH athletic director Herman Frazier. Frazier has been criticized by UH fans since early last year for the football team's schedule, his handling of the transition of basketball coaches, and a lack of improved facilities.
Boosters back effort to boot out Frazier
STORY SUMMARY »
Disgruntled Hawaii football boosters are ready to pay UH athletic director Herman Frazier to go away.
Warriors booster Kent Untermann, a former UH tight end, said the $120,000 needed to do so has been raised.
"All we need is a trigger man," Untermann said.
It is not that simple.
University of Hawaii-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw and the UH Board of Regents would have to endorse such a move. Hinshaw has only been at her post a few months, and the Board of Regents has always given Frazier high marks.
But Frazier's popularity with UH fans is low, especially since many feel he should have made sure football coach June Jones' contract was renewed last year. Now Jones might be headed to another school: SMU.
FULL STORY »
University of Hawaii football boosters have raised money in an effort to oust athletic director Herman Frazier.
Oahu businessman Kent Untermann, a former UH tight end and now a booster, said fans who donate large sums of money to the athletic program want Frazier out. One is willing to put up what Untermann said is the entire amount necessary.
"The money's already there. Someone just has to pull the trigger," Untermann said. "There's a gentleman, who I won't name, who has volunteered to pay the $120,000 buyout. He would make sure it happens."
Frazier had no comment.
The Star-Bulletin has learned at least several other boosters are willing to contribute money to remove Frazier from the post he has held since 2002.
But such a move would require termination of Frazier's contract by his supervisor, UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, and approval by the school's Board of Regents. Frazier is under contract at $250,000 per year until 2010.
UH president David McClain said removing Frazier is "hardly anything I've contemplated," and would fall under the jurisdiction of Frazier's supervisor, Hinshaw, and the Board of Regents.
"Personnel issues are dealt with by the university, and not in this manner," Hinshaw said.
"The structure is that we have a small number of positions that involve oversight and approval (by the board)," McClain said.
Frazier has been roundly criticized by UH fans since early last year for the football team's schedule, his handling of the transition of basketball coaches, and a lack of improved facilities. More recently he came under fire for not accepting UH's full allotment of Sugar Bowl tickets.
The latest displeasure with Frazier stems from football coach June Jones' contract not being renewed yet. The contract expires at the end of June, and Jones is headed to Dallas today to interview to become the football coach at Southern Methodist.
Several sources say Jones is close to accepting SMU's $2 million-per-year offer. UH made a counteroffer of around $1.1 million per year late Thursday, and that amount was upped yesterday. But Jones and his agent, Leigh Steinberg, have said Jones is more interested in improved infrastructure and resources than his own pay.
Untermann said removing Frazier is part of an attempt to keep Jones at UH.
"I don't think with June it's ever a done deal until it's done," Untermann said. "He's an emotional guy. He came here on emotion. I think he's fed up and disappointed. We have to take swift action, which hasn't been demonstrated at all. June will never say we have to replace the athletic director."
Untermann said he believes Jones wants three things to remain at UH: a $25 million commitment to facility improvement, a promise of effective leadership and more loyalty from the fan base.
"Part of that ties into administration and scheduling and marketing," Untermann said. "I don't blame it on the fans. The leadership hasn't been there, and June has obviously done his part."
Untermann was asked if he thinks anything can be done to keep Jones at UH.
"It might be too late," he said.