WAC reprimands, warns McMackin


POSTED: Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin was reprimanded by the Western Athletic Conference yesterday for his controversial comments during the league's media preview last week.

If any another breach of conduct occurs, it'll cost McMackin a game.

The league announced its sanctions against McMackin yesterday, issuing a reprimand and a warning for his use of a gay slur during his press conference at the WAC Football Preview in Salt Lake City. The statement from the league reads, “;any further violations of the WAC Sportsmanship Code will result in an automatic one-game suspension, at the minimum.”;

“;Coach McMackin's comments were clearly offensive, violated the WAC Code, and are not condoned by either Hawaii or the WAC,”; commissioner Karl Benson said in the release.

The WAC's ruling—a response to McMackin's use of the slur while describing a chant performed by Notre Dame at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl banquet—came three days after UH announced that McMackin will be suspended for 30 days without pay. He will be allowed to work with the team on a voluntary basis. He also agreed to a 7 percent pay cut.

“;I appreciate Karl and the WAC moving quickly with the decision,”; UH athletic director Jim Donovan said.

“;There are still things Coach McMackin has volunteered to do, and the athletic department will continue to make sure the staff and student-athletes receive awareness training, which we've done in the past regularly.”;

As the commotion off the field subsides, the Warriors are looking forward to returning the focus to football.

The players report for fall camp tomorrow and take the field at 2 p.m. Thursday for the first of 19 practices spread over the next 2 1/2 weeks.

“;I'm ready for it,”; junior slotback Kealoha Pilares said after a voluntary workout yesterday afternoon. “;From spring to now, it's been way too long.”;

The players will again stay in the dance studios on the second floor of the athletic department and had their first bonding exercise of the season when a sizable group rallied around McMackin at the on-campus press conference when the school's sanctions were announced on Friday.

“;I think we can hopefully take it and use it in a positive way,”; senior running back Inoke Funaki said. “;A lot of us, we love him a lot and we care about him.

“;I heard about (Friday's gathering) through text messages. Just everyone calling each other up that the guys on the team are going to meet up to support Coach and be there for him, because he's been there for a lot of us. We can say Coach has been good to us and taken care of us as players and people and we definitely wanted to be there for him.”;