Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, January 26, 1999

R A I N B O W _ F O O T B A L L

UH football
team to play
Texas in 2000

The Longhorns also opened
the season in Hawaii
in 1995

By Paul Arnett


The University of Texas will travel to Hawaii in the year 2000 to play the Rainbows' football team, the Star-Bulletin has learned.

Longhorns sports information director John Blanco, who traveled with Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams to last week's Hula Bowl, confirmed the proposed game over the weekend.

''I'm not sure a firm date has been set, but it appears it will be our opener,'' Blanco said. ''The contracts have been signed and the game is on our schedule. We're looking forward to making the trip.''

Texas opened its 1995 season at Hawaii. The Longhorns not only won the game, but unveiled Williams as well, who said over the weekend, ''Maybe another freshman will get his start like I did in Hawaii. It's something you never forget as a football player.''

The Longhorns will play a 12th game to open the new millennium. But whether they would play a 13th in years teams are allowed to schedule 12 games without the Hawaii exemption, remains to be seen.

NCAA officials will allow Division I teams to play 12 games during years there are 14 weekends. The first time that happens is in the year 2003.

UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida discussed this new NCAA policy at yesterday's Quarterback Club luncheon. He said discussions are under way to see if Hawaii wants to schedule a 13th game during those years teams can schedule 12.

But that may prove difficult, according to American Football Coaches Association executive director Grant Teaff. He said over the weekend that teams may be reluctant to play that many games, especially those who have conference playoffs to worry about.

''I could see where this new rule could hurt Hawaii's football program,'' Teaff said. ''Scheduling 12 regular-season games is tough enough, much less 13.

''And this is probably just the first step toward teams playing 12 games all the time. Our preseason game (the Pigskin Classic) has four years left on its contract. After that, teams have the option to go to 12 games during certain years.''

Yoshida hasn't committed UH to playing 13 games, but did say during yesterday's Quarterback Club luncheon that teams had expressed an interest in the proposal.

''The problem for Hawaii would be staying healthy,'' Teaff said. ''And that would be a concern for other schools playing 13 games in a 14 weekend schedule.

''The health of your team and the amount of time spent away from the classroom are areas university administrators would have to discuss before making that kind of commitment.''

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