UH Petition for Additional Football Game Denied

University of Hawaiʻi
Shawn Nakamoto, (808) 956-9095
University and Community Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
University and Community Relations
Posted: Dec 26, 2001

WAC Commissioner Carl Benson notified University of Hawaiʻi President Evan S. Dobelle that the NCAA has denied the UH request for an extra football game this year.

An NCAA spokesman said that the request was given thorough consideration and the NCAA is sensitive to Hawaiʻi's unique set of circumstances. However, he added, to grant a waiver of relevant rules would create serious precedent for the future that the NCAA does not believe it to be in the best interests of its membership.

"Naturally we're disappointed," President Dobelle said. "We had looked forward to this opportunity to give our players one more showcase for their talents and the excitement that is Warrior football."

"I am grateful to Rice University, which had indicated that it was prepared to travel to Honolulu for our proposed match-up. Rice is an excellent team, and we would have looked forward to a re-match. This could have been an exciting game for Hawaiʻi, for Texas, and for the country."

Dobelle also expressed his gratitude for First Hawaiian Bank CEO Walter Dods, and to others in the community who had come forward to offer support for the Christmas Day game.

"This has been a tremendous learning experience for me personally and for the institution," he said. "I think I can speak for players, coaches and fans that we should now take advantage of the sentiment and momentum that has developed and look forward to creating our own opportunities next year.

"Hawaiʻi has the ability to host a bowl game," the president said, "and I plan to call together a representative group of individuals early next month to plan a bowl game in which UH would play, with appropriate television coverage, at some date other than Christmas Day in 2002."