Warriors will get in with 6-6 record
By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl would be free to take a University of Hawai'i football team with a 6-6 record under a new NCAA bowl policy.
The ruling came in the wake of the NCAA approving a record 35 bowl games for the 2010 season, meaning 70 of the 120 schools that play in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) could appear in the postseason. Previously, teams with winning records had to be placed before bowls could entertain those with 6-6 records.
"Six and six teams are in the mix now whereas, in the past, we'd have had to take a 7-5 team first," said David Matlin, the Hawai'i Bowl executive director. Matlin attended the annual bowl meetings yesterday in Phoenix where the Hawai'i Bowl was licensed through 2014.
However, under the so-called Hawai'i Exemption which allows UH to play an extra game in most sports to help it recoup travel costs, UH has usually chosen to play the maximum allowable 13 games except for the 2007 season when then-athletic director Herman Frazier was unable to fill the additional game.
Last season, UH was 6-7 and was not bowl eligible for the first time in four seasons.
UH has, at times, considered playing 12 games to take advantage of the extra open date but athletic director Jim Donovan said, "we will continue to utilize (the Hawai'i Exemption) as long as it makes sense for us. Right now, in football, it allows us an extra home game and we can really use the money."
UH nets approximately $250,000 to $500,000 for each of its home games against Football Championship Subdivision teams (formerly known as Division I-AA), which would be the most likely trimmed in the event the schedule was reduced to 12 games.
The athletic department has run at a deficit six of the previous seven years and has an accumulated net deficit approaching $10 million.
The NCAA approved two new bowl games, the Jan. 1 Dallas Football Classic and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 30.