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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 31, 2003

UH football event called off

Advertiser Staff

The latest casualty of AstroTurf is the University of Hawai'i football team's annual "Spring Challenge" festivities.

The Spring Challenge, which in the past has included activity booths and games for fans, and the Warriors' controlled intrasquad scrimmage at UH's Cooke Field, won't happen.

"I don't want to be on that AstroTurf," UH coach June Jones said of Cooke's artificial surface.

UH players suffered several injuries and cuts that led to bacterial infections from playing on a similar artificial surface at Aloha Stadium. Aloha Stadium's AstroTurf is scheduled to be replaced with FieldTurf, a playing surface in which blade-like material is placed over a sand-and-rubber base.

Jones said there are no other places to stage the Spring Challenge. The grass practice field is not large enough to accommodate the 3,000 fans who usually attend.

NCAA rules prohibit UH from practicing on a Neighbor Island.

Meanwhile, UH starting quarterback Tim Chang, who suffered a sprained right thumb on his throwing hand in the ConAgra Foods Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Day, is scheduled to participate in passing drills during spring practice, which begins March 31.

"He's going to play," Jones said.