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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, February 6, 2001

U H _ F O O T B A L L

UH Football

Hawaii, BYU
revive grid rivalry

Cougars coming to play Dec. 1,
replacing Iowa State on the
Warriors' football schedule

Jones: recruiting done

By Paul Arnett

Brigham Young softened the blow of a troubling trend by agreeing to play Hawaii in football on Dec. 1.

The Cougars replaced Iowa State, which requested out of the scheduled season opener at Aloha Stadium yesterday after the two athletic departments couldn't agree on a possible site switch or on how much money Hawaii was willing to pay Iowa State to come over here.

As late as last Tuesday, attempts to have Hawaii play in Ames, Iowa, were being discussed, according to several sources, but the conditions Hawaii sought were too much for Iowa State to meet.

Not only did Hawaii want a $500,000 guarantee to help offset the loss of a home game, but athletic department officials asked for a guarantee that the nonconference meeting be on national television.

Cyclones athletic director Bruce Van De Velde also felt the terms of the six-year-old contract didn't meet the reality of today's expenses and asked for Hawaii to take part in the Jim Thorpe Classic in Ames, or up the ante on the current deal.

"When it was written, it didn't have the relevance to the year 2001 in terms of what it was going to cost us to go over there," Van De Velde said in a story yesterday in the Des Moines Register.

"I have asked them to reevaluate the contract and try to make it so that financially, it is not a loss to us. If they can't do that, then we're looking to move the game forward to the following year," Van De Velde added.

His concern was the potential loss of $175,000 on an away game and felt it wasn't what was right for the department.

This is the second consecutive year Hawaii has lost its season-opening opponent. The University of Texas opted out of its game with the Warriors last season, forcing Hawaii to play Division I-AA Portland State. Two years ago, Notre Dame and Virginia also asked out of scheduled games for a variety of reasons.

The loss of Iowa State also leaves Hawaii without a home game for a majority of the season-ticket holders until Rice University on Sept. 29. At this time, the Warriors won't open the 2001 campaign until Sept. 8 with the University of Montana on Maui. Hawaii travels to Nevada on Sept. 15 and has a bye on Sept. 22.

Iowa State was also the only team on the current schedule that was likely to be in the Top 25 of any major polls. BYU is a solid replacement, but the Cougars have fallen on hard times of late and don't carry the same mystique as during the glory days with former head coach LaVell Edwards, who retired this past season.

Still, UH head coach June Jones is happy to get the Cougars as a last-second replacement. This is the second Mountain West Conference school to step in and help Hawaii. Last year, Nevada-Las Vegas replaced Texas in a Dec. 2 game.

These could be the first steps toward repairing a rift that developed after the 16-team WAC split apart in 1996. It could open the doors for Hawaii to join that league, should expansion take place.

"We're very excited to play Brigham Young next season," Jones said. "They play an exciting brand of football and they're a brand-name team with great tradition."

BYU athletic director Val Hale is also pleased to rekindle the old rivalry that ended three years ago.

"BYU and Hawaii have enjoyed a great rivalry over the years," Hale said. "We were thrilled when the opportunity came to play the Warriors in Honolulu. This is a series we hope will continue in the future and we are all trying to work out those details."

Yoshida would like nothing better than to land a home-and-home with BYU.

"We're looking to build on our long-standing relationship with BYU," Yoshida said. "We're still working out the details to play home and away over the next few years. Val has been very cooperative through this whole deal. We are very appreciative for him and all the assistance he has provided to help make this happen."

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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