Jay: NCAA, NIT or bust

Garrett Nevels shot baskets post-practice at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym on Tuesday.
Garrett Nevels shot baskets post-practice at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Gym on Tuesday.

Hawaii’s postseason path is clear: Make the NCAA Tournament by winning three games in three days at the Honda Center, or settle in for the offseason.

UH athletic director Ben Jay said recently UH is not entertaining the pay-for-play CIT or CBI tournaments as postseason options should UH not take the Big West tournament’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“I’m not interested in entertaining those (buy-in tournaments),” Jay told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Ferd Lewis. “It is NCAA, NIT or nothing. … We’re not in the financial shape to be able to do that.”

Hosting a CIT game can cost upwards of $35,000.

UH has participated in the CIT twice — 2011 and 2013 — but reached 20 wins last season did not play in the postseason, in large part because of similar financial concerns.

Meanwhile, the NIT does not charge for admission but is very difficult to get into. It comprises 32 teams, down from 40 a few years ago, and now awards berths to regular-season conference champions who do not make it to the NCAA tournament, plus high-RPI at-large teams. UH’s RPI was 172 as of Tuesday.

“We put in bids, requests to host, for both the men’s and women’s NIT,” Jay said.

On the men’s side, calling the NIT a long shot would be generous. UH’s only tangible, realistic option starts with beating Long Beach State in the Big West quarterfinals on Thursday.


  1. Kazu March 11, 2015 11:30 am

    Guess BJ learn something since he last paid $35,000 to play and turned out to be nothing worth while. Live and learn. You either make the tournaments by winning otherwise forget it. The women did it the last cpl years.

  2. dopaco24 March 11, 2015 3:03 pm

    If the women don’t make the NCAA tourney, but make a 3 game run in the WNIT, they could lose nearly $50,000 if they host all of those games.

    Kazu, the women making the WNIT as an at-large team is the equivalent to the men being selected for the CIT. There are 64 teams(32 auto-bids for each conference) in the WNIT compared to the NIT(32 teams, with autobids to regular season champs that don’t make the NCAA) and CIT(32 teams). As far as the men losing money on the CIT, Ben Jay mismanaged the whole operation. Under Jim Donovan, UH made $60,000 by hosting games in the CIT. Hosting a CIT game is profitable for a mid-major like UH with a major arena if it is marketed correctly. The problem was, it wasn’t marketed correctly under Ben Jay.

  3. warriorsanddolphins March 11, 2015 3:06 pm

    It seems Mr. Gay is still making his lousy presence felt. I know we lost some money the last time we played in the CIT but we lead the league in attendance by a mile. A little more marketing and preparation would be a bring a big crowd. And even if we lose a few thousand, so what? This team has overachieved and proven alot of people wrong. Why not reward them for a successful season.

  4. man eating apple March 11, 2015 3:49 pm

    lol wow you idiots.

    a) “the women making the WNIT is equivalent to the men being selected for the CIT”
    b) “a 3 game run in the WNIT, they could lose nearly $50,000 if they host”
    So how the hell do you get to this:
    c) “Hosting a CIT game is profitable”
    How do the first 2 things you say, lead you to conclude that last thing?

    warriorsanddolphins: good job calling him Mr. Gay, pat yourself on the back.
    “Even if we lost a few thousand, so what?”

    No Warrior fan can support this kind of thinking. Mediocrity being rewarded, or trying to. Team finishes #5 in the Big West for 5 years in a row, can’t win the Big West tourney in spite of superior facility and coaches salary, but you want them to keep playing basketball in pay-for-play tournaments?? What are we playing for, 97th place in the country, best team to not have what it takes to make the NCAA/NIT tournaments? You guys think real Warriors want to see this?

  5. dopaco24 March 11, 2015 4:40 pm

    a) Comparing performance, the women’s runs the previous 2 years were the equivalent to getting a CIT bid. If the WNIT only had 32 teams, UH would not have made it the past 2 years. However it has 64 teams.
    b.) I am potentially off on the $50,000 cost to host WNIT(which is not run by the NCAA) games. My basis is that Bowling Green, a wbb team with similar(a little higher)attendance numbers, hosted 3 games last year and lost $9,000. Given Ben Jay’s abilities I predict UH will overbid by a lot, and cost UH a lot of money because UH can’t cover. I meant to say UH could lose $20,000, but I posted the $50,000 in total WNIT expenses(only losing $9k) by BG last year. Still, I might not be off.
    c.) UH men would break even on a CIT bid if they had at least 3,000 in attendance. They’ve had some good numbers this year, and could average 5,000 per game, like they did in 2011 while Jim Donovan was AD, ultimately earning over $60,000. A lot of teams have taken the experience from the CIT and used it to make the NCAA tournament the next year. UH is young and could make a good run in the CIT, even winning it. That would be a lot of momentum going into next year. The NIT this year is difficult because 10 mid-major regular season champions have already lost in the conference tournaments. That means there are currently only 22 NIT spots left. I predict over half, if not all, of those spots will go to Power 5 conferences. The CIT was made because of the extreme difficulty for mid-majors to make the NCAA and NIT as at-large teams.

  6. st. anthony trojan March 11, 2015 10:00 pm

    BJ…. Has zero marketing skills…oop wait mistake…- 50 marketing skills…he he he

  7. bouncingball March 12, 2015 7:13 am

    BJ just needs to keep his mouth shut and go quietly into the night. A guy who failed to see 2 years ago that retaining Chow would result in over 2.5 million in lost revenues every year, a guy who can’t read a contract and was going to extend Gib for another 3 years with a raise while the NCAA investigation was just starting, a guy who ok’ed the move of this year’s football opener to a Thursday. Is there ONE good thing he did as an AD for UH?

  8. locomoco March 12, 2015 10:40 am

    – “Is there ONE good thing he did as an AD for UH?”

    He tried to break up that fight in the stands at a Wahine basketball game in 2013.

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