Yesterday, this blog host received a once-in-37-year-career opportunity: an invitation to spend signing day with the Warriors. After 13 hours, this is what I learned:
> Few surprises: The UH coaches know about that under-sized but gritty offensive lineman. They know about that running back who is transferring. They know about your cousin’s son’s best friend. If that prospect is not on the UH recruiting board, he’s probably not a fit or he might not meet all the requirements or there might not be room or he just isn’t that interested in playing for the Warriors. Not every single person wants to date you.
> Good cop: Nobody likes being the R.A. who has to tell the people partying, “Shhh. Keep it down. Some people are trying to study.” Amanda Paterson has a long, fancy title, but her main job is to make sure everyone is in compliance with NCAA rules. Yesterday, Paterson spotted a mistake in the fine print that, after being corrected, allowed a recruit’s letter of intent to be approved. Motto: Even if you don’t like tax laws, you like your CPA.
> Credit check: There was a scramble when the Warriors learned of a player who had left a program, committed to a school and now wanted to play for the Warriors. Nick Rolovich and an assistant coach discussed the player. The coach then did a background check, confirming his academic status and circumstances. Paterson calculated his eligibility projections. The player was put on hold, for now, but he was vetted in about 30 minutes. The coaches also were able to get updates on a prospect who was in a part of the world where Verizon probably doesn’t reach.
> Back story: There is logic to Rolovich’s madness. The conch shell used to announce commitments was found during a spearfishing outing 14 years ago “Kauai Mike” took the shell, buried it in his front yard as part of the creatures-of-the-Earth cleansing process, and gave it to Rolovich last year. That rider’s derby Rolovich wore yesterday? He found it in an antique store in Reno and …
> On the move: Sleep? Who needs sleep? Intern Brodie Nakama, and graduate assistants Marc Moody, Mikahael “Blood” Waters and Makana Garrigan were in near constant motion yesterday, running errands, evaluating and, even, scouring the walls. Their 12-hour shift was fueled by “cat naps,” some as short as 5 minutes.
> Spreading the aloha: Maybe it stems from his college days or when he was a newly hired assistant coach in 2008 who was sent on the road with little available room on his credit card and his first UH paycheck a couple weeks ago. But Rolovich makes sure his coaches and staff are fed — and that he picks up every check.