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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, September 14, 2001

Warriors might play Nevada next week

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

If the University of Hawai'i football team can secure travel arrangements to Reno, Nev., the Warriors' Western Athletic Conference game against Nevada will be played Sept. 22.

The game, originally scheduled for tomorrow in Reno, was postponed in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

In attempt to play on Sept. 22, UH officials are trying to charter a flight to Reno. The team would like to depart Thursday.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson vowed the UH-Nevada game "will be played within 30 days." Benson said playing the game on Dec. 8, as originally suggested by UH, is "not an option."

Benson added, "Nevada is strongly opposed to Dec. 8 as an alternative date."

UH and Nevada do not have any common open dates through the Dec. 1 end of college football's regular season.

On Sept. 22, UH has a bye and Nevada is scheduled to play at San Jose State in a WAC game. If UH can finalize travel arrangements to play on that date, the Nevada-San Jose State game will be moved to Nov. 10. Both teams have byes that day.

Rescheduling the UH-Nevada game to Sept. 22 is "the easiest possibility," Benson said, adding, "I have the authority to move these games and do what's in the best interest of the WAC."

Benson said the UH-Nevada game must be played to ensure "the integrity of the league race." Each of the 10 WAC teams is scheduled to play eight of the nine other member schools this year.

"You want all of the (league) games played, so there's no possibility that a 6-1 record can be compared to a 7-1 record," Benson said.

Although the WAC standings are determined by winning percentage, Benson said, "I'm not a math genius, but if somebody is 7-1 and Hawai'i is 6-1 ... isn't the team (with a) 6-1 (record) at a disadvantage?"

Benson and the WAC athletic directors discussed several scenarios during a teleconference on Wednesday. San Jose State officials were told of the possibility of vacating the Sept. 22 date.

While sensitive to San Jose State's wish to play Nevada on Sept. 22, Benson said, "In these types of times, member institutions have to do what is in the best interest of the conference."

Benson added, "You can blow up the whole schedule and make it work. But the idea is to make the move that has the least amount of disruption."

Benson said once UH secures "travel arrangements, we can make the next step."