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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Parking, Melila Purcell, CO on ESPN2, Etc

Dave Reardon writes about UH's plans to sell parking passes at Aloha Stadium.
Season-ticket holders with prime seats will have more access to prime parking spots at Aloha Stadium this fall, as the University of Hawaii athletic department hopes to raise $100,000 through a new parking deal with the stadium.

The Stadium Authority and management have agreed to make more than 1,000 parking spaces at the stadium available to UH to sell for Warrior home games.

The money the school makes will go toward athletic scholarships.
More details can be found in this UHAD press release.

From the Cleveland Browns website, here's an article from earlier this month profiling 2nd year defensive ends Chase Pittman and Melila Purcell. In this excerpt, Mel talks about playing on the practice squad last year.
"I learned a whole bunch," Purcell said. "It's been fun, but kind of hard at the same time. But it's been exciting just getting all the information from the coaches and some of vets as well.

"I wasn't playing, but I was taking mental reps. Just trying to get better."

Purcell was listed at 6-foot-5, 285 last season, and he's noticeably bigger in the upper body after a full year in an NFL weight program.
Thanks to 4uhfan on WSN for finding this article.

Monday night (10:30pm EDT, 4:30pm HST) is your chance to watch Chad Owens play for the AFL's Colorado Crush on ESPN2 HD or ESPN360.com. Here's an excerpt from the press release:
WR CHAD OWENS ranks third among rookies in all-purpose yards (1,097). Ranks fifth among rookies in yards from scrimmage (507), receiving yards (494), receptions (51), and first downs (30)
Be there! Thanks to "anonymous" in the comments.

Stephen Tsai writes about QB Steele Jantz impressing with his arm strength in yesterday's workouts. UH got lots of QBs!

And from yesterday, Tsai has a list of some great players currently not on scholarship, which includes the likes of Daniel Libre, Victor Clore, Aaron Bain, etc. Tsai writes that Tim Grasso and John Fonoti will be placed on scholarship in the fall.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Florida Game Time Set

Gonna be hot!
The season-opening football game for Hawaii at Florida on Aug. 30 will start at 12:30 p.m. (Eastern).

It was also announced at the SEC meetings this week that the game will be telecast by Raycom Sports.
Dave Reardon attests to the mugginess.

Warriors in the Pros: Sopoaga, Manuwai

ProFootballWeekly.com has an item on Isaac Sopoaga moving from nose tackle to defensive end for the 49ers.
Sopoaga, whose temperament is considered much better suited for the outside, has an extremely quick first step. With his size — team insiders tell us he’s tipping the scales in the 340-pound range these days — and mobility, Sopoaga has the potential to consistently collapse the pocket.
And Jaguars.com's Vic Ketchman praises Vince Manuwai's run-blocking skills.
Andy from Jacksonville
You mentioned Vince Manuwai as a possible candidate for most underrated. I think Vince is a very fine guard but what, in your opinion, makes him a Pro Bowl-caliber player?

Vic: Manuwai is a powerful run-blocker and that’s what gets guards elected to the Pro Bowl. Pass-blocking is for tackles. Run-blocking is for guards and centers and Manuwai is one of the best run-blocking interior linemen in the league. His play during Fred Taylor’s hot streak last season was impressive. What Manuwai has to do now is perform at that level on a consistent basis. I’m tellin’ ya, the guy can run-block like Alan Faneca, but Faneca has done it consistently for a long, long time. Manuwai is getting notice for his play, but he must keep it at its high level to get Pro-Bowl consideration.

Ching Foundation, Ticket Prices, Bonuses

Dave Reardon's story on the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation's $5 million donation to UH has lots of artist rendering illustrations as well as some news about when the turf could be in place on the new Ching Field.
Athletic director Jim Donovan said resurfacing of the practice field might be done by the end of October.

"But we'll be seeing if we can't push that up," Donovan said.

UH had hoped that the field would be usable by the start of football practice in August. But coach Greg McMackin said the new timetable is no big deal.

"It's scheduled to be ready when we really need it, when it starts raining a lot," McMackin said.
Michael Tsai writes about the donation, as well as the reduction in some ticket prices.
"This allowed us to lower the minimum (cost) in tickets so we can make a family package and simplify the number of (pricing) tiers," Donovan said. "Our No. 1 source of untapped revenue are those empty seats. It's like they teach you in first-year economics: lower the price and increase demand."
A provision was also approved which would give more coaches the opportunity to earn post-season bonuses.

Reardon discusses the three items the board of regents approved.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cooke Becomes Ching, LaCount, Patton, Kapanui

The UH Board of Regents approved the renaming of Cooke Field and the $5 million that comes with it.
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents unanimously approved a proposal today to rename Cooke Field as the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex.

The renaming of Cooke Field — used for football, track and field, intramural, band and ROTC activities — comes with a $5 million donation from the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation for refurbishing. It is the largest donation designated for athletics only to UH, Athletic Director Jim Donovan said.

"We're very pleased," Donovan said.
The Regents also approved the lowering of prices for some tickets to UH games.

UPDATE: KHON, KGMB and KITV have video coverage of today's big donation from the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation. The stories include some artist's rendering mock-ups of what the completed complex will look like. Nice.


Dave Reardon writes that incoming JC offensive lineman Kainoa LaCount will be arriving at UH a little later than expected.
He said he will remain on the mainland at College of the Canyons (Calif.) to complete work on his associate’s degree the next couple of months.

He said he has two classes remaining, and plans to arrive in Hawaii in time for the start of fall camp.

New York Jet Kenny Patton was limited in practice today for unspecified reasons.


And Chad Kapanui won an Offensive Player of the Week award for his performance in last week's game for the UIF's Sioux City Bandits.
In Sioux City’s 79-60 win over the Colorado Ice, he completed 16 of 25 passes for 212 yards and seven touchdowns. Kapanui added five rushing yards to finish his evening with 217 yards of total offense.
Through 11 games, Kapanui is 189 of 290 (65%) for 2073 yards with 38 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

New QBs, Pre-Mediation

Dave Reardon talks to incoming JC QBs Brent Rausch and Greg Alexander, who participated in unsupervised workouts yesterday.
"It was good work, good to finally get started," Alexander said. "The (dropbacks) are a little different than what I'm used to. Getting some timing down. It was a good first day."
"It was real good," said the 6-4, 190-pound Rausch, who completed 60 percent of his passes at College of the Desert last year. "This was definitely a workout for me. It was an eye-opener for the drops I have to learn. Inoke was teaching me a lot, so that helped. It was coming along pretty good, and I'll be working on it in the coming weeks."
The article includes photos of them throwing.

UPDATE: Dave has more quotes, notes and observations about Rausch and Alexander, as well as receivers Mike Tinoco and Craig Bell. He also writes that Ryan Keomaka may be joining the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

UPDATE 2: Stephen Tsai talks to Rausch and Alexander. Here's a fun excerpt:
Rausch said he received a late recruiting push from Southern Methodist, where June Jones and four assistants relocated.
“They gave me a call the day before I signed here,” Rausch said. “I didn’t even call them back.”
Tsai also writes that Shane Austin worked out with Joe Avery and Royce Pollard yesterday.


And there was a pre-mediation meeting yesterday leading to the actual mediation meeting(s) beginning on June 9th to resolve the dispute over the $400k between June Jones and UH. Hopefully there will no post-mediation meeting... FINAL BINDING ARBITRATION!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Colt Brennan Profile

Gary Fitzgerald of Redskins.com profiles Colt Brennan. Here's an excerpt:
When the Redskins resume OTAs on June 2, Brennan could be ready to participate in the quarterback practice rotation.

"I'm going to work hard with the rehab and training, and hopefully get cleared to participate in the OTAs," Brennan said recently. "And then I'll just take it from there. I don't want to push it and I don't want to set myself back. I want to let the doctors keep me steady and going in the right direction."

JJ and UH, Carmona to Transfer, Lelie News, Etc

A mediator will hear the dispute between June Jones and UH over the $400k penalty UH says JJ owes for breaking his contract when he left for SMU. If mediation doesn't work, it'll go to "final and binding arbitration."


Stephen Tsai writes that Camron Carmona will be leaving UH to transfer to a Division II or III school. Tsai also has some updates on Warrior QBs -- Kiran Kepo‘o and Bryce Kalauokaaea will not be in fall camp, but will rejoin the team August 25th. Bryant Moniz is expected to join the team after playing at Fresno City College last year. And Shane Austin's recovery from a broken foot is going well.

UPDATE: Tsai has updated his post with photos of Greg Alexander, Brent Rausch, Mike Tinoco and Inoke Funaki.


The Instant 49ers blog talks about Ashley Lelie's chance to break out (or at least play) in 2008.
--Ashley Lelie spent his redshirt season re-learning the wide receiver position with WR coach Jerry Sullivan. Lelie, a low-key individual, was clearly frustrated. But at the end of the year, he said he thought he was vastly improved. (Sullivan said the same thing.) Lelie appears to be on the radar screen, so he'll get a chance to emerge in a crowded receiving corps that includes Bryant Johnson, Isaac Bruce, Arnaz Battle, Jason Hill and Josh Morgan.
The Niners Nation blog has a poll asking where Lelie will end up on the depth chart.


Ferd Lewis commends WAC commissioner Karl Benson on a job well done.


And finally, check out Roosevelt High School's new stadium. A beacon of light the University of Hawaii's Cooke Field can aspire to.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summertime, Samson, Statement

Stephen Tsai has photos of Leon Wright-Jackson and Spencer Smith, who are participating in the summer conditioning program. Tsai also writes that incoming JC recruits Brent Rausch, Greg Alexander, Mike Tinoco and Craig Bell have arrived at UH.


Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel's Miami Dolphins blog has a roster comparison of last year's offense to this year's. He mentions Davone Bess as being in the mix at receiver, and has this about Samson Satele:
Analysis: The biggest jump that's usually made in the NFL is the one made when a player is entering his second season as a starter. Satele could be on the verge of a breakout season, but he won't have Hadnot there to hold his hand on the line calls, which should make 2008 a challenge. Overall, this is another upgrade because its impossible not to envision Satele getting better.

And UH posted a statement from Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, who addresses the release of the The List, and the work involved in compiling it. Thanks to fuzzylogic for finding it. Here's the opening paragraph:
I directed that the UH Mânoa travel list and expenses for the 2008 Allstate Sugar Bowl be released on Friday (May 23), consistent with our intention to be as open and transparent as possible. We have not yet received the Sugar Bowl proceeds from the WAC, nor have we paid all the vendors, so these revenues and expenditures are still draft until that happens.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Week In Review

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. There's been a lot of UH football-related news in the past week. Here's a summary of it from Tuesday May 20 to Monday May 26, in no particular order. Let me know if there's anything I missed.


Dave Reardon wrote that UH has scholarship offers out to Billy Ray Stutzmann, Chad Lopati, Manti Teʻo and Stan Hasiak.

Sportsbow reported that safety/cornerback Asi Hosea of Salt Lake City, Utah was offered a scholarship. Hosea had previously lived in Hawaii, attending Kahuku and Kapolei before moving to Utah.

Warriors in the Pros

On MVN.com, a Redskins fan named Greg Trippiedi analyzed reasons why scouts may not have liked Colt Brennan, and offered some responses.

In his first AFL game, Nate Ilaoa rushed 6 times for 25 yards and scored a touchdown for the Columbus Destroyers. Unfortunately, he left the game after disclocating his shoulder. Let's hope it's not too serious.

Chad Owens caught 11 passes for 128 yards, including a 40-yard TD grab for the Colorado Crush. He also returned 8 kicks for 158 yards.

In the UIF League, Chad Kapanui passed for 212 yards and 7 TDs in leading the Sioux City Bandits to a 79-60 victory over the Colorado Ice.

Former UH and current Atlanta Falcon guard Kynan Forney had his number retired by his prep alma mater, Nagodoches High School. He also has an editing room at the school named after him.

Vince Manuwai has moved from left guard to right guard for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

CJ Hawthorne's tryout for the Buffalo Bills apparently went well. As of Thursday, he had been asked to stay longer in Buffalo to take a physical.

Ryan Grice-Mullen was sidelined by a hamstring injury, but Stephen Tsai writes that RGM has impressed Houston Texans coaches.
Word is that Grice-Mullins, at the worst, is all but assured a berth on the practice squad. If he continues to impress, he makes the active roster on opening day.
Though not playing football, former UH kicker Eric Hannum is still a pro. Cindy Luis profiles him and his medical imaging business.

TV Deal

The UH Athletics Department agreed to a new TV deal with KHNL/KFVE and Oceanic Time Warner Cable.
The agreement will pay UH a minimum of $14.52 million over six years, pending certain financial benchmarks being met by the end of the third year.
As a benefit to UH fans, football season-ticket holders will receive a 50 percent discount on a special road pay-per-view package. For the 2008 season, fans must purchase their football season tickets by July 18 to qualify for the discount, which will be worth more than $75 if three games are on the road pay-per-view package.
Ferd Lewis wrote about the big investment KFVE and Oceanic made.
At a time when we're told local TV advertising is off 10 percent or more, Oceanic and KFVE/KHNL's 30-percent raise in annual rights fees is not only a heavy bet on UH sports, but a considerable investment in it.
New athletic director Jim Donovan and associate athletic director John McNamara were able to enlist them in the vision of "growing the product" at a time when it has become a necessity for UH. It is a vision Donovan has been preaching to anyone who will listen — and, now, some influential folks have.
Brian McInnis had some details of the deal.
KFVE, the 25-year rights-holder for UH sports, remains as the primary broadcaster with about 85 percent of televised events in the next academic year.

Oceanic will again shoulder Pay-Per-View revolving around a UH football package, but now takes on more than half of the payment in the contract with the option of new mediums (Webcasting, podcasting) in the future.
Does this mean Hawaiian Telcom will continue their webcasts this year?

Other Revenue/Deficit News

Jason Kaneshiro talked to Jim Donovan, who says that the UH athletic department faces a $1.7 million deficit for 2009.

Ferd Lewis wrote about the athletic department asking the board of regents to approve the lowering of some ticket prices.
UH athletic director Jim Donovan declined comment pending regents' action but had previously said he wanted to lower prices, where possible, to boost sales and come up with so-called "family packs" to entice more families to events.

With an accumulated net deficit of $4.4 million, Donovan has said UH's biggest potential area for fiscal growth is "in our empty seats at events."
Lewis also wrote that the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation has offered $5 million to help underwrite a $10 million expansion and renovation of Cooke Field. The offer also needs to be approved by the board of regents. There may also be a press conference about it next week.

The List

The big news of the week was about the list of the people in the UH Sugar Bowl traveling party finally being released after repeated requests from the media.

On Wednesday, Ferd Lewis wrote about how some UH employees and others were given the option to pay for their trip so that their name wouldn't appear on the list when it was eventually released.

Then, the state's Office of Information Practices asked UH why it had so far refused to release a list of names.

On Friday, the Advertiser filed a lawsuit against UH to obtain Sugar Bowl travel records. Soon after, the list was delivered to the Advertiser, with 45 of 550 names blacked out. That article has a lot more of the nitty gritty details.

The Star-Bulletin's Paul Arnett wondered what the big deal was.

Ferd Lewis wrote how UH made it into a bigger deal than it should have been.
If something that should have been such a slam dunk involved that much foot-dragging and so many smokescreens by the counsel's office and elsewhere, you wonder how long it would have taken had UH really had something juicy to hide. And, to think they fired Herman Frazier for his dithering.

Therein lies the problem. The stonewalling that surrounded the Sugar Bowl list makes people suspect the worst and reinforces long-held skepticism about UH. It underlines the worst of bureaucratic culture that can permeate UH, where, as someone once put it, rules exist to make more rules. A place where common sense and transparency are too often casualties.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

WitP: Patton, Hercules, LP, CO

Looks like Kenny Patton's tryout with the New York Jets went well. He just signed a free agent contract with them.

Hercules Satele is mentioned in this Arizona Cardinals offensive line report.
Arizona did go out and sign a good number of undrafted rookie free agents after last months draft, four of which are offensive linemen. Peter Clifford (Michigan State), Thaddeus Coleman (Mississippi Valley State), Carlton Medder (Florida) and Hercules Satele (Hawaii). Of the four Coleman and Satele would appear to have the best chances of making the team.
Leonard Peters is in the mix to compete at safety for the Chicago Bears.

Chad Owens caught 9 passes for 78 yards and scored a rushing TD in last week's game for the Colorado Crush.

Programming note: I'll be away from the computer for the most part until next Monday or Tuesday. I'll have a wrap-up of the news I missed until then. For up-to-date news, check out the Tsai-blog, the Dave-blog, Sportshawaii.com forums, WSN forums, the newspapers and TV news websites, the links are on the left and right. Shoooots.

Monday, May 19, 2008

McMackin Profile, Colt Jersey

Kevin Goff of the Mail Tribune (based in Southern Oregon) profiles UH head coach Greg McMackin. Lots of interesting notes about his start in coaching.
Following his playing days as a defensive back at Southern Oregon State College, McMackin spent time as an assistant at Medford-Mid High under then head coach Fred Spiegelberg.

"I was just out of college," McMackin remembers. "I really got my basics in coaching there. Those kids were my first students.

"In those days, that was one of the best programs in the state. I got a lot of my coaching philosophy from there."

Still a young man himself, McMackin made lasting impressions on some of his players, too.

Among those former pupils was Bill Singler, now the head coach at South Medford.

"I remember him being very fiery, very excitable," Singler said. "He was probably 22 or 23 and he'd get out their and put the pads on and get after it with us."

That fire led to other memorable moments for Singler.

"You always had to look out for the McMackin hand print," Singler says with a laugh. "You'd get out of the shower and he'd be there waiting. He'd plant his hand right on your chest and leave a big, red hand print.

"You haven't lived until you'd gotten a McMackin hand print."

The Washington Redskins site is now taking pre-orders for a Colt Brennan replica jersey. Unfortunately, as of right now, they don't ship to Hawaii. Somebody should change that. Thanks to UHwarrior808 for finding it.

And finally, Brian McInnis writes that UH is nearing a deal with KFVE and Oceanic.
It is believed the upcoming contract will be similar to the two previous three-year deals with UH, KFVE-TV (the 25-year rights-holder) and Oceanic Time Warner Cable (the pay-per-view supplier), or possibly a little longer.

The UH legal counsel still needs to approve the final contract, Donovan said.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

WitP: Keomaka, Kapanui, Hawthorne, Esera

Ryan Keomaka made his debut with the UIF's Billings Outlaws last night, and was second on the team with 8.5 tackles in a victory over the Omaha Beef.

Sioux City Bandits QB Chad Kapanui was 24 of 29 for 268 yards and six touchdowns, leading his team to a season high 73 points. Unfortunately, the other team scored 76 points.

Stephen Tsai writes that CJ Hawthorne was not retained by the Atlanta Falcons, but will have a private workout with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday. Also from that post, UH football coaches are set to receive laptops, which will help on the road. And Happy Birthday to Tsaiko Jason.

Tala Esera attended Indianapolis Colts minicamp, but did not practice for undisclosed reasons.
Seven players were present at minicamp, and didn’t practice:

Cornerback T.J. Rushing, cornerback Michael Coe, safety Bob Sanders, linebacker Gary Brackett, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, offensive guard Ryan Lilja and offensive lineman Tala Esera.

“Just resting up injuries and guys not medically cleared, whether they weren’t able to condition enough, whether it was surgeries,” Dungy said Saturday. “We have a few different things.
And Dave Reardon writes about a possible home-and-home with Alabama sometime in the future, though it seems like a lot is going against it.
Donovan said he’s fine with the idea, as long as it includes at least one game here. McMackin said he’s cool with it, too, but points out that the price of oil will probably dictate how far UH will go in the future for road games.

As for the Alabama perspective, it would be difficult for it to play a game at Hawaii late in the season because of the SEC championship game (remember, last time they played here was because they were on probation and ineligible for postseason).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bess, WAC Breakdown, Keomaka (w/UPDATE)

Ed Thompson of Scout.com says I-told-you-so to teams who passed on Davone Bess in the draft.
I didn't find it surprising to see rave reviews coming out of Miami about undrafted wide receiver Davone Bess. While many teams undoubtedly focused on the former Hawaii receiver's mediocre forty-times at the NFL Scouting Combine that ranged from 4.64 to 4.79 seconds, they apparently were chatting or snoozing while he was actually displaying his skills as a receiver.
Congratulations to the Dolphins for spotting his talent. I believe many teams may be kicking themselves for not using at least a seventh-round pick in the draft to add him to their roster.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com breaks down the WAC. Here's an excerpt about UH:
2. Getting defensive: The offense started learning this spring, but the defense seems to be figuring stuff out on its own -- it should rank among the best in the WAC again, even with the departure of six starters. McMackin believes the front seven will be as good as any in the conference, led by linebackers Solomon Elimimian and Adam Leonard and end David Veikune. While there are three new starters on the line, they combined for 11.5 tackles for a loss last year and played extensively.
And Stephen Tsai writes that Ryan Keomaka has signed with the Billings Outlaws of the United Indoor Football League. And last I heard, former UH running back Michael Brewster had rejoined the Outlaws in March, but currently he's not listed on their website roster.

UPDATE: I e-mailed the Outlaws and they told me that Brewster left the team after suffering some injuries mid-season. And Keomaka will start on Saturday against the Omaha Beef. That's right, the Omaha Beef.

Flights, Samson, RGM

Ferd Lewis has an article about soaring fuel costs, the shutdown of Aloha Airlines and ATA, and how it's all affecting the Warriors' travel plans.
"Charter costs are just unbelievable now for us," Donovan said. "It is getting to be stratospheric."

For example, Donovan said the Warriors paid $85,000 to charter to San Jose, Calif. for last year's game with the Spartans and $125,000 to Idaho for the game with the Vandals, but have been quoted a $319,000 fare for Fresno State this year.
As a result, Donovan said the Warriors may look to a mix of commercial and charter flights this season.

"Combos are going to have to become more of a reality," Donovan said.

The Warriors had hoped to charter from Honolulu to Gainesville, Fla., for their season-opening game at Florida. But the limited availability of affordable charters means they will fly commercially to and from Atlanta and only charter between Atlanta and Gainesville, officials said.
We need Richard Branson to become a UH football fan.

Lewis writes a column about how future scheduling will be affected, with more road games for UH.
From talks with prospective opponents, Donovan said teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences that, in the past, might have played a game or two here without asking for a home game are now, almost without fail, demanding a return matchup. In addition, the Warriors' success in concert with recent leaps in fuel and travel costs have made possible opponents more circumspect in negotiations.
Joe Mayes of RealFootball365 writes about the importance of Samson Satele to the Miami Dolphins.
He is now entering his second season and will be expected to call the signals for what is arguably the most important unit on the field. Every offensive play will start with the ball in his hands.

And unlike quarterback John Beck, he has virtually no competition at his position going into the 2008 season.
And finally, Chawan Cut found this KGMB news story from a few days ago of Ryan Grice-Mullen at Houston Texans minicamp.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

News and Notes

In the Bleachers names Adam Leonard as one of 10 non-BCS defensive players to watch in 2008.
A first team all WAC selection in 2007, Leonard is not only one of the WAC’s hardest hitters, but one of its biggest defensive playmakers. Second on the team with 105 tackles last season (53 solo, 11.5 tfl) Leonard also took two interceptions back for touchdowns and broke up four passes. Not the tallest player, he nevertheless has a great feel for the game and the always underrated ability to shed blocks with ease. He’s a versatile player can play either the “mac” or “buck” linebacker positions as they’re known in Honolulu, and should be a major asset in new head coach Greg McMackin’s efforts to keep the program competitive.
With Adam, Solomon and Blaze playing together for a second year under McMackin and Cal Lee, the UH linebackers gonna be unreal this year.

Stephen Tsai reports that former UH offensive lineman Kynan Forney quietly donated $35,000 to the football program.

Colt Brennan attended an Augie T show this past Sunday.

And finally, former UH receiver Chad Mock was released by the B.C. Lions of the CFL.

UPDATE: Tsai writes that Karl Noa was cut by the New York Jets.

UPDATE 2: Tsai adds that Kenny Patton received a tryout with the Jets, and walk-on offensive lineman Travis Campbell is transferring to SDSU. Best of luck to both of them.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Solomon Elimimian on Nagurski Watch List

The Football Writers Association of America has named Solomon Elimimian to the 2008 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The award honors the top defensive player in college football.
The FWAA All-America Committee selects the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner from the association's 11-man All-America defensive team in November. The watch list was developed by the FWAA All-America committee with the help of the schools and conferences.

John Estes on Rimington Watch List

Last week, UH center John Estes was one of 44 players named to this year's Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List. Here are some details about how the winner is determined:
While more than a dozen All-America football teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee uses these four prestigious teams to determine a winner:

* American Football Coaches Association

* Walter Camp Foundation

* Sporting News

* Football Writers Association of America
The Center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the Center with most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by the Rimington Trophy committee.

Warriors in the Pros

The 49ers website has a profile of Isaac Sopoaga.
While most players of his size may not be initially viewed as the most athletic players on the field, Sopoaga showed the ability to play nose tackle, defensive end and he even linebacker, where he played during one game last season against Seattle.

“Those positions made me learn different techniques as the season progressed and I think that really helped me,” said Sopoaga. “When I put all those things together, it gave me an idea of what I wanted to do going into this season. Now I know how I want to play, react and use my energy against the man in front of me.”
He's gonna have a monster year.

Here's a photo of C.J. Hawthorne from an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Falcons minicamp slideshow.

Hawthorne's teammate Kynan Forney lined up at first team right guard in Sunday's minicamp practice.

And Chad Kapanui passed for 227 yards and 5 touchdowns for the UIF's Sioux City Bandits in a tough loss.

UPDATE: Here's a profile of Pisa Tinoisamoa from the St. Louis Rams site. Thanks to 4uhfan for finding it. Here's an excerpt:
The player once renowned for his toughness after popping a dislocated shoulder back into place seven times during the 2005 season was now the guy whose toughness was being called into question.

As Tinoisamoa attacked this offseason and preparation for the 2008 year, he couldn’t help but use the whispers as motivation for his training.

“I think that fueled my fire this offseason,” Tinoisamoa said. “Just knowing that you are that guy now that everyone is like, ‘I don’t know about him.’ You hear it from coaches and all around, it kind of fuels me to get better. It fueled me to say, ‘I am not going to do that anymore.’ Not that it was my choice anyway, but I am going to do everything I can to make sure I am not. I had to look inside myself and say, ‘Am I doing the most I can to make sure that physically I am in the best shape I can be, that mentally I am playing smart?’ I have come to peace with myself and I feel like although there are things that fuel me because of injuries, that fuels me but it doesn’t drive me. What drives me is being the best, being a winner and being a great teammate.”

Sunday, May 11, 2008

RGM, Chad Owens, Lafaele, Etc.

Here's a picture of Ryan Grice-Mullen from Day 3 of Houston Texans minicamp, which comes from this Houston Texans minicamp photo gallery (link may resize your browser).

Chad Owens had a good game for the Colorado Crush in a loss.
WR Chad Owens led all receivers with 11 receptions for 114 yards and one touchdown. Owens would also add a rushing touchdown; his fifth of the season.
Dave Reardon writes about upcoming college football rule changes, and has an update on Michael Lafaele:
Mike Lafaele says he’s “kind of bummed” nothing has shaken out for him yet for at least a tryout with an NFL team. But the all-WAC defensive tackle is liked by at least one team — the Seattle Seahawks. Coaches have viewed a highlight tape put together by a scout, and they like it. Problem is the Seahawks don’t have any room at DT right now, even for a free agent, and something such as an injury has to happen for Lafaele to get an invite. It could happen, though, and Lafaele might get his shot, probably around the time fall camp starts.
Ferd Lewis writes about the challenging stretch of games for the UH football team spanning the end of last season and the start of this one.
Between the final three games of 2007 — when UH played Boise State, Washington and Georgia in succession — and the first three of 2008 — when it opens with Florida and Oregon State on the road wrapped around Division I-AA Weber State — the Warriors' gauntlet will feature four teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences and at least three nationally ranked foes.

Thank goodness for Weber State.

What we have here is the confluence of two kapakahi schedules, the one UH should have had in 2007 and the one it needed for 2008.
Stephen Tsai writes about a good thing UH coaches did, which possibly led to the loss of a QB recruit.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tickets to Road Games

The UH Athletic Department has released info on how they're going to sell UH football road game tickets for the 2008 season. Tickets for the Florida and Oregon State games will go on sale to 2007 season ticket holders starting Monday.
Tickets to those two contests will be available exclusively to season-ticket holders until Friday, May 23. If tickets remain, they will be sold to members of the general public beginning Monday, June 2. UH plays its season opener at Florida on Aug. 30 and travels to Oregon State on Sept. 13.

Football season-ticket holders will have the option to purchase the number of tickets to Florida and Oregon State equivalent to the number in their season-ticket account, up to a maximum of six.

If the number of tickets requested by season-ticket holders exceeds the number of tickets available to UH, then tickets will be allotted based on a priority system, including premium seat contributions and number of years as a season-ticket holder.
More info can be found here: Football Away Game Ticket Policy.

Gibson and Shaffer Leave, Carmona Cut, RGM

Dave Reardon writes that safety Le'Marcus Gibson and receiver Eric Shaffer are leaving the team.
Freshman safety Le’Marcus Gibson, a player many had high hopes for, is home in Mississippi and will not return to UH.

“Right now I’m thinking about going to a JC,” Gibson said in a phone interview with the Star-Bulletin today. “Nothing against Hawaii. I just think it’s a more comfortable situation here for me.”
Also, speedy wide receiver Eric Shaffer is leaving UH without having played a down.

Shaffer put up big football numbers in high school in Fayetteville, Ark., and was a state sprint champ with a 10.57 in the 100 meters.

He redshirted last year, and got quite a few reps at slotback in spring practice last month.
Counting Korey Reynolds and Erik Pedersen (edit: and Jared Lene), that's four five scholarship players to leave UH in the past few days. Reardon sums it up:
The good news is this frees up scholarships for other deserving players, including projected starters. The bad news is it counts against UH’s APR rating in future years.
If a player wants to leave school for better playing opportunities, homesickness, personal reasons, etc., why does the school they're leaving get punished?

UPDATE (5/10/08): Here's an expanded article on Gibson and Shaffer's departure, by Dave Reardon.

Stephen Tsai writes that Camron Carmona was among the players who won't be invited to fall camp, though he may rejoin the team after rosters expand on the first day of the fall semester.

And from the Houston Texans website, an article about the undrafted free agents in minicamp, which includes a short profile of Ryan Grice-Mullen, as well as a video interview on the right side of the page.

UPDATE: KGMB's Liz Chun has a story about RGM in Houston, with an excerpt from the above video, and the inevitability of the Mullen in his last name.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Erik Pedersen Leaving UH

Stephen Tsai writes that linebacker Erik Pedersen is transferring to Portland State.
Linebacker Erik Pedersen is transferring to Portland State, where he will be reunited with his brother David and head coach Jerry Glanville.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to go up there and start,” Pedersen said.
Pedersen said he approached head coach Greg McMackin, who gave his blessing. McMackin told Pedersen: “I respect you as a person. We want the best for you.”
Pedersen said: “I’m going to miss them a lot. A lot of my best friends are out here.”
Best of luck to him.

UPDATE (5/9/08): Here's an Advertiser article about his transfer. It also has info about tomorrow's Banana Man Chase at Magic Island.

Ikaika Alama-Francis Update

The Detroit Lions held their third voluntary off-season practice today, and afterwards Coach Rod Marinelli talked about Ikaika Alama-Francis and how's he's been progressing after suffering a hamstring injury last year.
• Defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis looks stronger entering his second year.

“Oh, yeah,” Marinelli said. “He’s spent a year in the weight room.”

Marinelli said Alama-Francis wasn’t much heavier, though, and hadn’t lost any speed.

“I call it man-strength,” Marinelli said. “He’s starting to fill out a little bit. His quickness is very good. I mean, he’s running extremely well right now.”

Alama-Francis was a second-round pick last year, a raw project out of Hawaii. He didn’t contribute as much as hoped. Marinelli blamed a lot of that on a pulled hamstring suffered in the middle of the season.

“He was making great progress in practice, and it was his time,” Marinell said. “And he pulled a hammy and it nailed him for about four weeks and slowed him up a little bit.”
From an earlier post-draft article on the Lions' site, Ikaika talked about getting ready for the upcoming season.
“I know that I have a lot of things to work on this offseason,” said Alama-Francis. “Coach (Marinelli) is really taking his time to help me out with those things and I greatly appreciate that. It’s not every day you get one-on-one help from one of the best D-line coaches ever.

“I’ll take everything I have to soak in; Coach Marinelli and Coach Cullen are always coaching me, trying to critique and help me get better. I’m trying to work as hard as I can and hopefully will have a really good year next year.”
Further down the article, he talks about being away from home and adjusting to the NFL lifestyle.

And just a reminder that the Houston Texans (Ryan Grice-Mullins) and Atlanta Falcons (CJ Hawthorne) will be holding minicamps this weekend.

Ticket Prices May Drop

Ferd Lewis writes that the UH athletics department is seeking to reduce ticket prices.
It is seeking permission to lower the price of at least some tickets in all six of the sports for which it currently charges admission — baseball, football, men's basketball, women's basketball, women's volleyball and men's volleyball.

Not only could this be an historical milestone as the first across-the-board slash in school history, it flies in the face of what had been standard operating procedure at the school for several years. For too many seasons when attendance declined the reaction was: Raise prices! When crowds dwindled further the thought was: Raise 'em some more!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Korey Reynolds Leaving UH

Stephen Tsai writes that Korey Reynolds plans on transferring to a junior college.
He said his plan is to play one season at the junior college, then transfer to a four-year school in the South. He is an Alabama resident.

“I want to play tight end, and there’s no tight end (in UH’s offense),” Reynold said.

Reynolds has played defensive end and running back at UH. He also has been used on special teams.
I was pulling for him ever since he got recruited out of Alabama. All the best to him.

Comments on APR, ESPN 1420 Magazine

Dayton Morinaga has some quotes from Bob Nash and Jim Donovan about the APR penalties.
"I can't say I'm happy about three of these scores — the rest are acceptable or above average," Hawai'i athletic director Jim Donovan said. "With that said, we have new coaches, who are working hard to change these scores, we have an academic staff that's working hard to change theses scores, and a faculty athletic representative who's working closely with our coaches and academic staff to develop processes and build a culture to raise these scores. From my perspective having been here for only 40 days, I'm satisfied that we're putting in a culture and we have a support system that should improve these APR scores."
Jason Kaneshiro talks to Nash, Donovan and Greg McMackin about it.
McMackin said the Warriors lost a scholarship because of a player who left school several years ago who wasn't in good academic standing -- an 0-for-2.

"It won't hurt this recruiting class," McMackin said.

UH lost five football scholarships in 2006 and one last year due to APR.

McMackin said he doesn't want to change his philosophy of trying to help unhappy backup players transfer to schools where they might have a better chance of playing.

"We're straight with them and if we can help them get somewhere we will," McMackin said. "But any transfer, you end up losing points.

"It's a tough rule. I hope there's some reform."
And here's an online preview edition of the new ESPN 1420 magazine, which includes a Bobby Curran column about the new UH coaches, as well as an interview with Greg McMackin.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

APR, Ticats, BCS, Austin, Etc

Ferd Lewis writes that the UH football, basketball and baseball teams may be losing some scholarships due to the NCAA's APR.

UPDATE: The Star-Bulletin has confirmation.
Men's basketball was hardest hit with the loss of two scholarships. Football will lose one and baseball .48 of a scholarship, according to the NCAA.org Web site.

Men's basketball is also receiving "public notice" that it could receive harsher penalties if its numbers do not improve.
Here's a link to a PDF of Hawaii's APR report.

UH losing one football scholarship means they'll be limited to 84 (out of a possible 85). For some teams in the WAC, it's a whole lot worse: New Mexico State will be limited to 82, Idaho to 77 and San Jose State will be limited to 67. APR reports for all teams can be found at this NCAA site.


Stephen Tsai writes that Brad Kalilimoku and Ryan Keomaka may be joining the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Also from that post is some recruiting news, some future kicker and long-snapper news, and an APR workaround possibility.

Ferd Lewis writes that UH had good timing going to a BCS bowl in '07.
The WAC Council, at its annual spring meetings yesterday in Phoenix, voted to significantly slice the amount future WAC representatives might keep from BCS appearances, commissioner Karl Benson said. The Council's action requires approval of the WAC Board of Directors next month to become effective in 2009.
Dave Reardon talks to Shane Austin about his fractured foot.
Austin said he landed awkwardly after throwing a shovel pass to Jake Heun that went for a touchdown.

"Nobody was around me. I just planted on it wrong and something popped," Austin said.

Austin said a stress fracture from earlier in camp may have weakened the bone.

"There's no good time to be injured, but if there was this would be it," he said. "I'll be back by early June."
Former UH backup QB Jeff Rhode is now a basketball coach in Nampa, Idaho.

The Instant 49ers blog has a Q&A with San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike Martz, and takes a look at each position coming out of minicamp. It mentions Jeff Ulbrich, Isaac Sopoaga, and this about Ashley Lelie:
Watch out for Ashley Lelie. Martz and Nolan have mentioned his name often already. Last year, nobody was talking about him.
And Matt Barrows' 49ers blog mentions Ulbrich.
Who will play the “ted” linebacker spot this year? It’ll be one of the better training camp battles. Jeff Ulbrich has the most experience and he was the de- facto starter in training camp. Ulbrich is smart and savvy and would be a nice compliment to still-learning Patrick Willis. However, Ulbrich is not the ideal size for the position and he has been nicked in recent seasons. He also plays a major role in the team’s nickel packages and has been an excellent special teamer the last two seasons. That is, he’d play a major role on the team even if he weren’t a starter.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Video: Bess, American Samoa

Some Chawan Cut Compilations!

KGMB's Liz Chun has a report on Davone Bess, with video of Bess in Dolphins minicamp.

KFVE's Jason Tang visits American Samoa and talks to coaches and players there. Tang also reports that Greg McMackin plans on making a couple trips there in the near future.

Warriors in the Pros

Some weekend news and notes:

Here are stories from KHON and KITV about Colt Brennan in Redskins minicamp.

The Miami Dolphins website ran a poll asking fans which undrafted free agent would have the biggest impact in 2008. Davone Bess ran away with 55% of the vote (poll on the right side of the page).

The Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov wrote that Bess seemed to slow down on Sunday, but still showed the best hands among the receivers. Bess also worked on punt returns.

The Palm Beach Post's Edgar Thompson wrote that Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said that Bess stood out among all the undrafted players.

Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald profiles Bess.

UPDATE: This page from the Dolphins website has an interview with Bess from 5/5/08. You'll need Real Player or an equivalent to view it.

From 49ers camp, Jeff Ulbrich talked about the state of San Francisco's defense.
“It’s the second year so we were a little more on the same page as a defense, with more communication and we were flying around a little bit and definitely taking a step in the right direction,” said linebacker Jeff Ulbrich who took most of the reps with the first-unit at TED this weekend. “We’ve got a core group of guys who really understand the defense and then you plug in some new pieces like Justin Smith and some of the other guys we’ve got out here and it just takes it to a whole different level.”
Chad Owens scored a touchdown for the AFL's Colorado Crush on Friday.

In current Warrior news, Stephen Tsai wrote that QB Shane Austin is out 6 to 8 weeks with a fractured right foot. He should be recovered in time for full camp.

And finally, here's a PDF listing the championship, honors and fan attendances stats for the 2007-2008 UH athletics season.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Minicamps Day 2: Bess Impressing

Davone Bess continued to impress in Day 2 of Dolphins rookie camp.
Offensive coordinator Dan Henning, a veteran of 28 NFL seasons, likes what he has seen from rookie wideout Davone Bess.

Sure hands. Sharp routes. Nice dreads.
He has stood out among the 30 undrafted players in this weekend's rookie mini-camp.

"I see a player that has pretty good ball skills," coach Tony Sparano said.
The full Sparano quote can be found in this Sun-Sentinel blog post.

Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel profiles Bess. The article has quotes from June Jones, Sparano as well as Ron Lee, who has high praise for him.
"I don't understand it," said Lee, whose four receivers from last season are all in NFL camps. "We throw the ball, pitch the ball and we run fast routes.

"Why wouldn't you want a receiver who studies defenses, knows coverages and how to get open off the line?

"Davone is so quick, no one will be able to jam him at the line. He has a tremendous feel about the seam and not getting there until the ball is in the air. You can't teach that."
From the Dolphins site, Bess talks about having something to prove after not getting drafted.
"I didn't run a good 40 at the Combine, but a lot of scouts knew I wasn't a 4.3 guy but I have no idea (why he wasn't picked)," said Bess, who caught 293 passes for 3,610 yards and 41 touchdowns over three years at Hawaii. "My specialty is my run after the catch and just my ability to get out there and make plays. Everybody's entitled to their own opinions, you can't judge people for what they think, but at the same time if you watch tape you can see where the flaws are, you can see where people are lacking and their weaknesses and consistency. I think I'm doing all right but I definitely can do better."

No news on Colt Brennan today, but laulauboy posted some photos from Day 2 of Redskins practice on WSN (registration required). Here's one of them:

There may be more photos in the minicamp threads at ExtremeSkins.com.


From Day 2 of 49ers minicamp, there were some brief mentions of Jeff Ulbrich and Isaac Sopoaga in the Instant 49ers blog.
--A pass down the field to Vernon Davis banged off his chest and fell incomplete. Jeff Ulbrich had pretty decent coverage on the play, and I could not tell if he got a hand on the ball.
--Isaac Sopoaga showed his quickness by getting into the backfield past Tony Wragge on the first set of reps. Parys Haralson got around Duckett on one play.

--Sopoaga was none too pleased when Chilo Rachal brought him down (sort of like a tackle) on a run play.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Minicamp News

Colt Brennan attended the first day of Washington Redskins' minicamp, but wasn't allowed to participate in any drills as he recovers from labrum surgery. He was however anxious to get on the field. Here's what his coach Jim Zorn had to say.
"We're going to hold him out now," Zorn said. "He's not ready. He's antsy. We had to tell him four or five times, 'You're not throwing today."'
Here's what Colt said about not being able to participate:
"I knew this was going to be the case when I decided to get the surgery and it's tough, it really is, because you feel like you can finally get started somewhere but you're forced to sit and wait," Brennan said. "But it's nice for me because there's so much thrown at you as a quarterback that it's nice to sit back, watch the veterans, watch everything fold in, and it'll help the learning process for me and make everything a lot easier so by the time I do get to go in there I'll be that much more prepared for everything."
During the first day of Miami Dolphins minicamp, Davone Bess made a nice catch.
One of them did stand out - Hawaii WR Davone Bess. He didn’t get drafted despite catching 108 passes last season and scoring 41 TDs in his college career. Bess (5-10, 195) is a little small and a tad slow (4.63 in 40), but he catches everything thrown his way.

He made the best catch of the day, a diving grab on a down-and-in route thrown by Henne.
QB Chad Henne was impressed with Bess.
Henne had five receivers to throw to, all undrafted free agents, and he was impressed with Davone Bess out of Hawaii and how he ran his routes, as well as some of the catches he made.
Actually, it might've been Dolphins coach Tony Sparano who was impressed, can't really tell from the article. In any case, Sparano praised Bess afterwards.
Sparano also praised the undrafted Bess, who averaged 97 catches in Hawaii's run-and-shoot offense.

"You could see his ability when you watch him catch,'' Sparano said. "When you watch his tape, he's running and catching constantly.''
Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher had similar praise for Jason Rivers.
Undrafted rookie receiver Jason Rivers showed good hands, as Fisher was quick to point out when asked.
“He had 285 catches in college, so he can catch the football,” Fisher said.
Here's what Rivers told the Daily News Journal about traveling to Tennessee from Hawaii and back.
The University of Hawaii product traveled from Honolulu on Wednesday and will return to the islands on Sunday.

“I’m the kind of person where when it’s nighttime it nighttime and when it’s daytime its daytime, no matter where you are,’’ Rivers said. “I’m happy to be here. I’m not worried about it.’’
In the first day of 49ers minicamp, Jeff Ulbrich practiced at first team "ted" linebacker while Isaac Sopoaga practiced at first team left defensive end. Here's what Ashley Lelie said about the offense adjusting to Mike Martz' offense.
Running backs and receivers will be challenged to learn the constant shifting, but most liked the offense. "There's a lot of adjustment you do on the run," receiver Ashley Lelie said. "It puts us in the offense on every play."
Sounds like the run and shoot... I hope that's great news for Lelie. He tells the Santa Rosa Press Democrat about learning the new offense, his lack of production last year, as well as the injury that slowed him down last offseason.
After watching Darrell Jackson cut loose in the offseason, one thing entered his mind: "Pick it up or I' won't be here."

Lelie said there are a lot more pass plays in the team's playbook. There is also a lot more shifting and motions. Last year, he sustained a quad strain in the first day of minicamp and missed the entire offseason program.

"Now I'll get more of a chance to show what I can do," said Lelie, adding that he didn't really get that opportunity last year.

On the second play Friday during the team session, Lelie lined up at flanker and got the ball on a reverse. Lelie, who played split end last year, is at flanker this year.

UH in '08

ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg profiles the 2008 UH football team as they move ahead with the loss of key players, coaches, administrators, etc.
Such flux usually signals a slump, and the common opinion, at least on the mainland, is that Hawaii will be starting over this fall. McMackin doesn't buy it.

"We're the defending WAC champions, and that's how we're going to play," he said. "We lost some good players, but we have some good players in our program, and we have some good recruits to complement the guys that we lost.

"I'm really excited about this football team. We just have to build our personality."
Rittenberg also talks to Tyler Graunke and Adam Leonard, and to athletic director Jim Donovan about the facilities, which got a lot of national attention last year.
"A lot of times it takes something negative to turn into a positive," Donovan said. "Even though there was a lot of focus on the facilities and there was some negative publicity and stuff, it becomes the catalyst for the [state] legislature, the university, the donors, to step forward and make things much better than they were. We're seeing that starting to happen."

Hawaii is in the process of installing a new turf practice field -- "It's definitely getting done," Donovan said -- and wants to move the football offices to refurbished space. Donovan's long-term goals include improvements to the locker rooms, equipment rooms, training rooms and weight rooms.

NFL Minicamps Start Today

NFL minicamps start for a bunch of teams today, including Washington, Arizona, Miami, Tennessee, and the New York Jets. Here's a list of the minicamp schedules.

Here's a quote from Davone Bess as he begins camp with the Dolphins.
The undrafted rookies know their college statistics mean nothing.

"I need to learn the system, the playbook, give it my all and open some eyes of the coaches," said Hawaii receiver Davone Bess, who averaged 97 catches and 1,204 yards over three seasons.
Via 4uhfan on WSN, Colt Brennan has been assigned jersey #5 for the Redskins mini-camp.

I'll try to post some updates today and this weekend.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

C.J. Hawthorne to the Falcons

Stephen Tsai reports that C.J. Hawthorne signed a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
He will report to their minicamp May 8.
Hawthorne said he will compete as a wide receiver and special-teams player.
“I’ve got an opportunity,” Hawthorne said. “I’ll make the best of it. If it’s God’s will, it’ll be OK.”
UPDATE: KGMB and KHON mention C.J. going to Atlanta, while KFVE had a report about Colt Brennan attending the Redskins minicamp this weekend.

UPDATE (5/2/08): Here's an updated article from Tsai, with more quotes.
UH head coach Greg McMac-kin said: "I'm so happy for him. He's really worked hard."
While his teammates reached agreements Sunday, Hawthorne was not discouraged to have to wait until yesterday.

"When you have high expectations and things don't work out, you have rebrace yourself," Hawthorne said. "I did that."

He said Atlanta is a six-hour drive from his home in Biloxi, Miss.

"It's an easy drive," he said.

The $400k, TV & Radio Rights

Dave Reardon writes that Herman Frazier acknowledged in an e-mail to June Jones in December that JJ wouldn't have to pay the $400k penalty if he left UH early. However, it seems it was never put in the contract. And to UH, that's what matters.
But while that may indicate Frazier was willing to let Jones go without a buyout, language in the contract indicates it doesn't meet the standard needed to change the deal.

According to paragraph 17.0 of the contract, "This Agreement contains all the terms between the parties and may be amended only in writing signed by both parties."
Leigh Steinberg tells Dave that JJ sacrificed a lot and tried to help UH financially while he was head coach. Frazier was not available for comment.

Ferd Lewis writes that while SMU could schedule a game at Hawaii under the "Hawaii exemption," allowing them an extra game during the regular season, they've told UH that their schedule is full for the next ten years. Nice.

In his column, Ferd Lewis writes SMU's "next ten years" answer has to do with the disputed $400k. But he offers what I think is an awesome solution to this problem.
Here's how you settle it. Square off at Aloha Stadium in a 2009 game with added incentive the kind of reality challenge college football has never seen:

If UH wins, Jones pays up at midfield after the game with one of those 5-foot cardboard checks. If SMU prevails, Jones gets to tear up the contract at midfield.

Think that would pack the stands and grab TV's attention?
Hell yeah. Why not? Seriously, I think it's a great idea. Have Michael Buffer do the intros! June would be all for it, I'm sure. I've never known a Texan to back down from a fight.

And Brian McInnis talks to Jim Donovan, who has an update on TV and radio contract negotiations.
"We have talked to the current contractor in radio and come to an agreement in principle," Donovan said. "But we don't want to sign anything, pending the television deal being completed."
While he wouldn't go into specific sticking points of the TV negotiations, some form of three-way contract extension with current rights-holder KHNL/KFVE and Oceanic Time Warner Cable (which provides Pay-Per-View service for football and other sports) is possible.
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