Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, January 28, 1999

H A W A I I _P R E P _ F O O T B A L L

Shared revenue
key to state

The OIA would rather try a
four-league football playoff
format first

By Pat Bigold


Any move toward a state football tournament would have to involve discussions with the Hawaii High School Athletic Association about sharing the receipts, according to the coordinator for Oahu Interscholastic Association football.

Richard Townsend, athletic director of Leilehua High School and coordinator of the 21-school OIA football program, said the HHSAA would have to depart from its policy of not sharing state tournament gate receipts with association member schools.

He said the 1998 Prep Bowl made more than $160,000 on combined gate and pay-per-view TV receipts.

Townsend said he is not sure what percentage of the revenue from a state tournament the OIA would want.

He referred only to percentages from gate and TV receipts, but did not mention the possibility that a major sponsor could enter the picture, as has been the case with state football tournaments on the mainland.

An Interscholastic League of Honolulu high-placed source said this morning that the HHSAA has made a state tournament proposal which would share revenue with member schools. HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya could not be reached for comment this morning.

The OIA principals voted 21-0 on Monday to secede from the Prep Bowl, leaving the OIA and ILH with no postseason incentive except for their respective league championships.

The ILH refuses to go along with an OIA demand that it require student-athletes to use up their postseason eligibility in eight straight semesters. The ILH allows fifth-year seniors to play.

Townsend said the OIA is now awaiting word from neighbor island leagues about a proposal to form a four-league postseason football tournament excluding the ILH.

Townsend said the plan was discussed at the OIA athletic directors meeting on Monday and it was proposed to the executive secretaries of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, the Maui Interscholastic League and the Kauai Interscholastic Federation.

He said that the tournament, in which the leagues would control gate receipts and possibly be able to pay for the cost of transportation, could become a reality by the end of this week.

Townsend said he doesn't think much if any money would be made, but he said OIA ADs want to see if the idea flies with prep fans.

"We are not trying to make money," he said. "We are trying to get back in the good graces of the public."

He said that if the tournament is successful, then it would be time to go to the HHSAA with a proposal to formulate at state tournament.

"We want to use this as a springboard to a state tournament," he said.

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