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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, September 6, 2002

BYU bumps preps from Friday spotlight

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

PROVO, Utah — The Utah High School Activities Association said approximately 15 of 40 high school football games originally scheduled for tonight have been rescheduled because of competition from today's Brigham Young University-Hawai'i game on ESPN.

In Hawai'i, officials are waiting to see what effect it might have on the Aloha Stadium doubleheader matching Pac-Five and Beverly Hills (Calif.) High and Iolani and Edison High of Huntington Beach, Calif.

The UH game is expected to draw a capacity crowd of 65,000 to LaVell Edwards Stadium and lure many more fans to their television sets both in Utah and Hawai'i.

"It isn't something we like, but it is something we have to deal with," said Evan Excell, executive director of the UHSAA. "We feel like Fridays are traditional high school nights and we have been infringed upon," Excell said.

BYU is also involved in two Thursday night telecasts this year.

Val Hale, BYU athletic director, said the Cougars have tried to ease potential conflicts by giving the schools, "eight or nine months notice."

UH will appear in two Friday night telecasts, against BYU and Oct. 25 at Fresno State.

Because the Pac-Five game starts at 5 p.m., about the time the UH game should be ending, and the Iolani game begins at 7:30 p.m., officials are uncertain what the impact of the televised game will be.

Keith Amemiya, executive director of the Hawai'i High School Athletic Association, said, "Our schools want to support the UH program as much as possible, and one or two Friday nights a year might be OK as long as it doesn't become a permanent fixture."

Amemiya said HHSAA schools are also concerned about the effect of other Friday night games.

"If Oklahoma and Miami, for instance, were to play on a Friday, that kind of a TV attraction would hurt, too."

If ye have faith . . .

In Utah, where the BYU faithful are devoted to both religion and football, the school has combined both in a humorous effort to sell tickets.

The school retained an advertising agency to put messages on billboards in the Salt Lake Valley and in newspaper ads such as:

"Games so intoxicating, the beverages don't have to be."

"Most are converted after just one meeting."

"Come, come ye Saints."

BYU officials said sales of season-ticket packages were up to more than 29,000, about 2,000 more than a year ago.

The season opener against Syracuse was a sellout and today's UH game is expected to be.

This and that

• Kahuku star practicing: Mulivai Pula, an all-state running back at Kahuku High last season, has begun practicing with the Cougars, BYU coach Gary Crowton said. He is not yet eligible to play this season, pending an NCAA review.

• UH arrivals: UH president Evan Dobelle, Manoa chancellor Peter Englert and Deane Neubauer, interim vice president for academic affairs, were scheduled to arrive this morning and attend the game.

• Benson visits: WAC commissioner Karl Benson is scheduled to attend today's game, his first visit to BYU since the Cougars left the WAC four years ago.

• Family gathering: UH's first family of the secondary — the Kafentzis brothers, Kent, Kurt, Kyle, Mark and Sean — will be on the Warrior sidelines.