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UH expects USC series to pay off


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POSTED: Thursday, June 04, 2009

National exposure. Probable sellouts. The financial guarantees.

Hawaii's football relationship with USC comes with various benefits, and UH officials hope extending the series with the Trojans will pay off on signing day as well.

"The intangible is it's attractive for players from Hawaii to know they'll get to play a team like USC," UH athletic director Jim Donovan said. "So it helps us in recruiting."

UH and USC meet in 2010 and formally announced the addition of a home-and-home series in 2012 and 2013 yesterday.

The Warriors will travel to Los Angeles for a game on Sept. 1, 2012. The Trojans visit Honolulu on Aug. 31, 2013.

It was also announced that their 2010 game at Aloha Stadium will be televised by ESPN, prompting a shift to Thursday, Sept. 2.

Donovan said the move gives UH a chance to play on national television and gives the team two extra days of preparation before departing on a cross-country trek to face Army in New York to begin a two-game road trip.

"We moved it primarily because of ESPN, but it made a lot of sense for us (because of the travel)," Donovan said.

The new contract includes guarantees of $350,000 for each team.

The previous three-game contract concludes with the 2010 game. The first two games of that deal resulted in lopsided USC wins in 2003 and 2005.

The Trojans, 6-0 all-time against UH, have won the last seven Pac-10 titles and ended last season with a Rose Bowl blowout of Penn State.

"We're really excited about this series and for the opportunity to play a perennial national championship contender," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "It'll be good for our fans to be able to see us play one of the top teams in the country, which will be an indication of where our program is at."