Travel list not about who’s naughty or nice; more like ‘Who cares?’
If you haven't heard about the Sugar Bowl travel list released late Friday to coincide with rush-hour traffic, feel fortunate. It's much ado about nothing.
Poring over the list comprised mostly of football players and band members left me feeling like Geraldo standing in Al Capone's empty vault. There were 550 names, as promised; a list so devoid of controversy, you wonder what all the hubbub's about?
Granted, there are some names blacked out to protect ... well, I'm not exactly sure who. I could understand it if you told your wife you were away on business in New York, when you were actually in the French Quarter on New Year's Eve dancing on a table top, but otherwise, who cares?
Apparently, one news organization believed it served the greater good to see who made Herman Frazier's travel roster and who got left behind. So much so, this proud sponsor of the University of Hawaii filed a lawsuit -- using an attorney who once did color commentary on the KKEA radio basketball broadcasts -- against the same organization it pays a handsome sum to each year to be basically the university's front man armed with a cannon.
I promise, I'm not making this up. This conflict of interest rarely results in good journalism, and in this case, discredits any attempt to keep the university honest.
AND IT'S NOT as if a travel party, like the one UH put together, is out of the ordinary. Nor should it be linked to taxpayers' money ill spent or cash somehow earmarked to refurbish the library. Bowl games encourage athletic departments to reward their workers. That's one reason why the payout is so large at the BCS level.
The bowls want you to bring the band and the cheerleaders and the support staff. They provide you with a big pile of dough and expect you to reinvest half of it in the city hosting the bowl game. That's where a travel party of 550 invited guests of the department steps in.
To expose them to public scrutiny all in the name of the Uniform Information Practices Act is like putting out a match with a fire hose. Let's save it for something important and allow a beleaguered university to enjoy its BCS moment in peace.
Frazier is gone. He's so yesterday's news, you wonder whose agenda is being served by trotting him out every time the university has a problem. Aloha Airlines went out of business you say? Blame Herman.
It's true, there were those who deserved to go to the Big Easy, who didn't. And those who invited too many family members should feel some remorse if a co-worker got bumped. But let's get past it. There are many major problems facing this program in the coming days ahead. And the travel list from an event nearly five months ago is not among them.
Sports Editor Paul Arnett
has been covering sports for the Star-Bulletin since 1990. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org