BYU date switch gives UH national exposure, $75,000
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The college football game between host Hawai'i and Brigham Young has been moved from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2. The kickoff time has not been set, although it is expected to be around noon.
"Everything is a go," said Val Hale, BYU's director of athletics.
UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida said refunds will be offered to ticket holders.
Although BYU made the television arrangements, the game will count as part of the Western Athletic Conference's deal with ESPN because WAC member Hawai'i is the host. Under the WAC-ESPN contract, each member school receives $100,000 annually, regardless of its number of television appearances.
Still, UH will receive an "inconvenience fee" of an estimated $75,000 from BYU and the Mountain West Conference.
Yoshida said "anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 would have been substantial."
"The main thing is the exposure the program will receive," he said, noting the only other Division I-A game that day is the Southeastern Conference championship.
BYU sought the date switch after its Sept. 15 game at Mississippi State was postponed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The only open date for Mississippi State was Dec. 1, when UH was scheduled to play host to BYU.
UH officials agreed to consider a move only if BYU could secure a national television contract. When BYU finalized a deal with ESPN2 on Monday, an agreement in principle was reached.
If UH did not move the game, Hale said, BYU would have canceled the game at Mississippi State, forfeiting an appearance fee of $250,000 and a chance to play a Bowl Championship Series team.
"My hat's off to Hugh for being so flexible," Hale said. "This works out for all parties. BYU-Hawai'i is a great rivalry that needs to go on. It's fun for Hawai'i's fans and it's fun for our fans."
Yoshida said "we did not want to raise our demands too high" because of BYU's willingness to fill a vacancy this year when Iowa State pulled out as UH's season-opening opponent.