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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 30, 2006

Proposed new bowl could help Warriors

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

The NCAA will be asked to approve a new bowl that would give the Western Athletic Conference a third postseason opening and could guarantee a University of Hawai'i presence in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl, petitioners said.

ESPN Regional Television, owner and operator of the Hawai'i Bowl, will ask the NCAA's Postseason Football Licensing Subcommittee to license the tentatively named "New Mexico Bowl" for 2006, said Pete Derzis, ERT senior vice president.

The application is due Saturday and the committee meets at the end of April.

The game would match representatives from the WAC and Mountain West in Albuquerque in December.

The WAC has two bowl tie-ins, the MPC Computer Bowl and Hawai'i Bowl, and guarantees berths to its top two finishers. Before the demise of the Silicon Valley Football Classic after the 2004 season left the WAC with two bowls, UH had been guaranteed a place in the hometown Hawai'i Bowl as long as it was bowl eligible.

WAC policy allows UH to be sent to the Hawai'i Bowl in the event the conference is able to place another member elsewhere.

"We believe that a third WAC bowl opportunity will remove some of the restrictions imposed by the WAC and that's something we'll take up with the WAC and its membership," Derzis said.

If approved, the new bowl would be the fourth operated by ERT. In addition to the Hawai'i Bowl, it also has the Las Vegas and Forth Worth bowls.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com.