Thursday, September 13, 2001
[ UH FOOTBALL ]
NFL sets offDec. 8 re-emerged as a possible date for rescheduling of the Hawaii at Nevada football game this morning. A chain of events beginning with the NFL's decision that it would not play this weekend make the date more viable than Sept. 22, the option considered better yesterday by Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson.
Decision could affect
Refunds available for football, volleyball
By Dave Reardon
Massive nationwide sports rescheduling is occurring in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
After the NFL's announcement, college conferences that had previously said they would play games this weekend backed off.
The Southeastern Conference appeared firm in its decision to play on, and the conference planned to donate $1 million to a relief fund for Tuesday's victims. But two independent sources told the Star-Bulletin this morning the SEC will not play after the NFL's decision.
Benson said that means the NCAA might extend its college football season a week to Dec. 8, since many schools will now need an extra week to complete their schedules.
"We think that might be the case. We haven't heard that yet, but one would think that would be a way to do it," Benson said this morning.
Yesterday, the best option for rescheduling the Hawaii at Nevada football game was Sept. 22, Benson said.
UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida said this morning that Hawaii would prefer to play the game Sept. 22 rather than Dec. 8.
"We would like to play it this coming week, if it's do-able," Yoshida said.
Booking travel arrangements on short notice for UH's travel party of 85 could be problematic.
"We've asked Hugh to see whether or not it's possible to book (travel to Reno). ... We expect to talk to him (today)."
Benson said today that is still a possibility.
Early yesterday, Yoshida indicated the game would be played this Saturday, as originally planned.
Yoshida had spoken with Benson and other WAC athletic directors yesterday morning, and they agreed games could be played - especially since the NCAA and the White House gave their blessings to sports events this weekend.
But UH ran into difficulties rebooking its flight out of Honolulu to Reno via San Francisco, originally scheduled for today.
The condition of the Honolulu and San Francisco airports after the one-day nationwide ban on air travel could not guarantee the Warriors getting to Reno in time to be ready for the game. Added security measures, which could add hours to airport waiting time, throw another joker into the deck.
UH coach June Jones - who expressed concern about being able to book a flight for a game even next week, much less this Saturday - said he does not want to cut travel close and possibly not have time to practice in Reno or allow proper rest for the players.
"I didn't want travel to affect the outcome of the game," Jones said. "We can't get into the San Francisco airport tomorrow, so that eliminates that possibility (of playing this Saturday)."
"One thing we don't want to do is put the team at a disadvantage," Yoshida said.
Benson dismissed that idea of a Dec. 8 game yesterday, but that was before it appeared there would be no college games this weekend.
A game next week presents problems for at least one other WAC team.
While it is a bye week for Hawaii, Nevada would have to reschedule its game at San Jose State. The Wolf Pack made initial inquiries to such a change yesterday. But San Jose State athletic director Chuck Bell is strongly against such a move.
"That wouldn't work. We wouldn't have a home game until Oct. 13 and we wouldn't play for two weeks in a row," said Bell, who has already rescheduled this week's home game against Stanford to Dec. 1. "That wouldn't be acceptable for our fans or our players."
Nevada and San Jose State both have an open date Nov. 10.
"We certainly understand San Jose State's concern," said Benson, who planned on talking with Bell today. "It would require Nevada and San Jose State to move their game. That's what we need to consider."
Yoshida said he empathizes with the Spartans' situation.
"I can understand where San Jose State is coming from," Yoshida said. "We got a request to play (Sept. 29 Aloha Stadium opener) Rice later so Nebraska could play Rice on that day. But then we wouldn't play at home until October."
Jones noted UH's not playing this week means the Warriors will have played only one game when most other teams will have played three or four.
"We would have liked to play but it's out of our hands," Jones said. "The other side of it is we're a little beat up. It gives us a chance to get healthy."
Senior slotback and team captain Craig Stutzmann said those directly affected by the attacks "have been in our thoughts and prayers," but the Warriors are ready to play.
"Obviously it's a little disheartening," he said. "We've directed all our attention to our next opponent. We're ready to play our next game against Reno. We've had a couple of good practices."
Those who purchased tickets for this weekend's Wahine volleyball matches or for Hawaii's football game in Nevada have until Sept. 28 to get a refund.
University makes refunds
available for football
and volleyball games
UH officials said yesterday it would take several weeks to process the refunds. The department will mail prorated refunds for season ticket holders and full refunds for individual purchasers.
Stan Sheriff Center Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. UH officials ask that purchasers include their name and address with their tickets.
Fans who bought tickets from the University of Nevada box office should call (775) 348-7225. The address for the UH ticket office is 1337 Lower Campus Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822-2370.
Ka Leo O Hawaii