Star-Bulletin Sports


NCAA ruling will
affect UH schedule

By Cindy Luis

The season has been over for two months, but the Hawaii basketball coaches haven't taken off for vacation just yet.

Associate head coach Bob Nash is still working on the schedule for the upcoming season, a task that will be affected by the outcome tomorrow in an Ohio court. A federal judge in Columbus will try to get officials from the NCAA and those suing on behalf of exempted tournaments into mediation.

If the two parties don't agree to mediate, the judge will either rule in favor of the status quo -- the two-in-four rule that prohibits teams from playing in more than two exempted tournament in four seasons -- or rule against the parties that filed an injunction to lift the restriction.

Four companies that represent exempted nonconference tournaments such as the Las Vegas Classic and Coaches vs. Cancer Invitational have challenged the NCAA rule under antitrust regulations. If the judge rules against the NCAA, it would mean that teams would be able to compete in Hawaii tournaments such as the Rainbow Classic and the Maui Invitational as often as they are invited.

"There are a lot of teams out there that want to come back, but they've used up their limit (of exempted events)," said Nash.

"It would be good for us, definitely," said Rainbow head coach Riley Wallace. "We are running out of teams. And when you can't bring in two teams from the same conference, it cuts the available numbers even further. We can't satisfy the fans the way it is now."

Other numbers that Wallace was dissatisfied with are the revenue numbers released by the UH athletic department yesterday. He disputes that his team only netted $82,633 after expenses, and that the NCAA revenue is greater than the reported $50,000.

"They didn't include money from the NCAA Tournament, television and the WAC Tournament," he said. "I don't have the figures for this year but, based on last year, I believe we netted about $521,122.

"It makes it look like we didn't bring in the money when we're right behind football."

Wallace begins his busy summer next week with his annual fishing trip. He'll be in Canada beginning July 12 to visit guard Carl English's hometown of Patrick's Cove, Nova Scotia. He will also spend a week in Lithuania and a week in Guam, the latter trip to include a clinic with assistant Scott Rigot.

Notes: UH All-American guard Predrag Savovic will not participate in Sunday's graduation ceremony. Savovic, who will receive a degree in business and finance, has a conflict. He'll be working out with an NBA team, according to Wallace. Savovic is projected to go late in the first round or early in the second round of the June 26 NBA Draft. ... Hawaii-Hilo coach Jeff Law said tomorrow's ruling wouldn't greatly affect tournaments hosted by the Division II Vulcans. "Our philosophy is that we're going to go with teams who don't normally get a chance to come to Hawaii," said Law. He said that the format for the Big Island Invitational will change this year, from an eight-team tournament to a four-team, round-robin event. He is looking for one last team to fill out the field that includes UHH, Utah State and Vermont.

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