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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, November 12, 2001

UH football team facing sizeable revenue shortfall

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawai'i football team faces a shortfall of hundreds of thousands of dollars in projected ticket revenue.

Coach June Jones said his only regret about the Boise State game was that "we didn't win."

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

UH officials had projected earning a gross of $3.9 million in ticket sales for eight games at Aloha Stadium. Entering Saturday night's game against Boise State — the fifth game at Aloha Stadium this season — UH projected a shortfall between $400,000 and $500,000.

Athletic director Hugh Yoshida said he did not receive final sales figures for Saturday's game, which drew an announced turnstile attendance of 40,600, the largest of the season.

Yoshida said hopes the Warriors' final three games, all at Aloha Stadium, "will help to reduce the deficit. By how much, we don't know."

The final two games, against Air Force and Brigham Young, have the potential to draw large crowds, Yoshida said. Air Force and BYU were members of the Western Athletic Conference until 1999, when they and six other schools seceded to form the Mountain West Conference.

Yoshida said UH will receive $75,000 from Brigham Young and the Mountain West Conference as an inconvenience fee for moving the game from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8. BYU requested the switch so it could play Mississippi State Dec. 1 in a game that was postponed from Sept. 15 following the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C.

The UH-BYU game will be televised nationally on ESPN2, and UH might receive a modest appearance fee from the cable network.

Yoshida said a decline in season-ticket sales for football and the after-effects of the Sept. 11 attacks contributed to the projected revenue deficit.

"The economy has not been kind to us," Yoshida said.

UH sold a little more than 23,000 season tickets.

• • •

• No regrets: UH coach June Jones said his only regret about a 28-21 loss to Boise State was "we didn't win."

The loss ended the Warriors' hopes of sharing in a WAC title. The Warriors finished WAC play with a 5-3 record. Louisiana Tech has a 6-1 WAC record, with one conference game remaining Nov. 24 at Tulsa. Boise State, Fresno State and Rice each have two WAC losses.

Jones also did not regret calling for an option pass in the fourth quarter. Leading 21-20, UH faced a third-and-2 from the Boise State 34. Mike Bass took the handoff, ran right and underthrew wideout Ashley Lelie. Justin Ayat's ensuing field-goal attempt from 52 yards was wide left.

Jones said there was little risk because the Warriors were ahead. He said Bass had practiced that play several times, although it was the first time he had thrown a pass in a game.

"If you don't gamble, you don't have a chance to be great," Jones said.

He added, "The same people who were second-guessing that play were cheering Chad's touchdown pass." Two weeks ago against Fresno State, safety Chad Kapanui sneaked into the game as a running back and threw a touchdown pass on a similar play.

Jones said Ayat did not practice last week because of a hyper-extended right knee. Jones said Ayat was healthy enough to kick Saturday night, but that the lack of practice might have affected his accuracy.

Quarterback Nick Rolovich suffered a minor knee injury against Boise State, but is not expected to miss Saturday's game against Miami (Ohio).