Warriors will catch
a break this fall

The team won't have consecutive
two-a-day practices in August

Training camp won't be as treacherous this August as it was for college football teams in the past. A new NCAA rule disallows consecutive days of the dreaded two-a-day practices.

Hawaii, like most teams, will alternate days of two practices and one.

"Oh yeah, we're excited for that," Warriors junior receiver Chad Owens said. "That's going to save on the wear and tear on our bodies, and we'll be able to give maximum effort every practice. We won't have to think about saving energy for the second practice every day."

But coach June Jones said having only one practice on alternating days won't be that much of a difference for UH.

"We'd have our main practice in the morning, and in the evening it's usually a walk-through for special teams and half the team would be in meetings and not on the field," he said.

In another difference from previous years, all UH players report on the same day, Tuesday, Aug. 5. Freshmen and other newcomers used to check in a couple of days earlier for orientation.

Light practices (helmets only) are scheduled for both Aug. 6 and 7. On Aug. 8 and 9, shoulder pads will be added. The first day with full gear is Aug. 10.

The regular two-week fall camp schedule starts Aug. 11. Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be double days, with one practice each on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The team has Sunday off.

Camp ends Aug. 22 or Aug. 23. School starts the next Monday, Aug. 25, and the team begins specific preparation for the season-opener against Appalachian State on Aug. 30 at Aloha Stadium.

"I haven't gone to this kind of camp before, but it seems like it would be easier," junior cornerback Abraham Elimimian said. "Sometimes coaches want two practices a day so they can implement new things and evaluate players. Guys who have been here three years already and are established will like it more than someone who needs to prove how tough he is."

Contract coming?: Athletic director Herman Frazier has said Jones' new contract will be completed by the start of the season. Jones said he hopes it will be done sooner; several sources have said the major components of the deal are agreed upon, but Frazier indicated that it will take time before he is ready to present it to the Board of Regents for approval.

The BOR meets this week. Jones said he has not been told the contract won't be presented then, and Frazier hasn't ruled it out.

"I would hope it is, but I don't know," Jones said. "Things here take longer than normal."

Jones, going into the final season of a five-year deal, is compensated nearly $400,000 a year. His new contract is expected to be for five years and include a sizable raise, funded by private sources.

Hiring of a defensive coordinator, raises for assistants and negotiations for other head coaches are also on Jones' and/or Frazier's plates.

"We're not anywhere closer than we were three weeks ago on (defensive coordinator)," Jones said. "But we should have someone sometime in the next month."

The assistant coaches, who work on one-year contracts, have not had raises since they started work at UH in 1999.

"We've made it clear how we feel about that," Jones said. "Our guys are deserving, as are a whole bunch of professors on upper campus. Hopefully it will be addressed soon."

Catching on: Wide receiver recruit Jason Rivers of Saint Louis School has passed his college admissions test and met all other entrance requirements, receivers coach Ron Lee said.

Rivers, who could compete for a starting spot right away, is doing well in 7-on-7 drills, Elimimian said.

"We went up against each other a few times. He has a lot of speed and he's a leaper. Once he learns what he's doing, he's going to be good," Elimimian, a two-year starter at cornerback, said. "He's a quiet guy, but when he gets on the field you see in his eyes he's confident."

Lee said he doesn't know yet if junior Britton Komine will remain at the 'X' left wide receiver spot he worked out at in the spring, or if he will return to slotback; Rivers' progress will likely be a factor in that decision.

Komine sprained an ankle playing basketball a few weeks ago, but is OK now.

Long trip: The Warriors will remain on the mainland between games at USC on Sept. 13 and UNLV on Sept. 19. The contingent will spend most of the time between games practicing and studying with tutors in Ontario, Calif.

UH still hopes to offer fans seats on the team's charter flights, but the program hasn't chosen a carrier yet.

Husky defections?: Washington players from Hawaii like linebackers Joe Lobendahn and Brandon Ala, and offensive linemen Donny Mateaki and Willie Kava (as well as defensive end recruit Wilson Afoa) probably won't leave UW (and possibly transfer to UH) because of Thursday's firing of coach Rick Neuheisel, sources close to the players said.

But if Washington comes under NCAA scrutiny as some expect, things could change fast. UH lost close recruiting battles with UW for several of those players.

Jones is a friend of Neuheisel, and said he is saddened by his firing.

"It's unfortunate. Rick's a great guy and a good football coach," Jones said. "He had some people who were out to get him."

Neuheisel's final downfall was due to gambling in an NCAA basketball tournament pool.

"I don't participate in that kind of stuff, so I don't actually think about it. I just know they (the NCAA) don't like it," Jones said.

Fore: Jones is in a golf tournament in Portland, Ore., this weekend with former NFL and NBA players.

He caught up with old friends including Eric Dickerson, Earl Morrall, Roy Green and Charles Barkley. "I don't play really good golf anymore, but it's fun to see guys I used to coach and play with," Jones said.


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