Behind the curtain

Ferd Lewis’ column today provided a peek at where much of the power might really be with major decision-making at the University of Hawaii athletic department.

The answer to who is in charge at UH sports? I think it is “no one, and anyone.” A power vacuum and hack politics allows anyone with connections, money and/or chutzpah to bully his way in and throw weight around, appropriately or not.

And the public loses as egos and special interests are served more than the overall good of UH and the community.

Remember the last times there were coaching changes for football and basketball? Both hirings involved behind-the-scene moves by special interests to get “their guy” in.

One of the reasons I’ve encouraged a crowd-funding movement combined with an organized protest by disgruntled fans is that it will get the attention of upper campus. Emails, letters, etc. … even not buying tickets doesn’t seem to be having any effect as the UH party line now is that coach Norm Chow will be evaluated at the end of the season instead of a change being considered prior to conclusion of the season.

Some UH fans at are looking into the possibility of crowd funding.

Another reason is that it could help take the power out of a big-booster funded buyout that often comes attached with the wink-wink of “hire my guy.”

Maybe it’s a long shot, but if the passion of the unhappy fans is channeled into an organized effort, maybe you can get results … A group protested the nickname change; you can debate all that went into how the result came about, but Rainbow was restored, as the group wanted.


  1. Warriordave November 4, 2014 5:11 pm

    Yeah same power brokers that pledged funds for Coach Gib’s salary then didn’t send in their checks. These people need to be exposed for what they are. LOSERS!!!!

  2. hatakeman November 4, 2014 5:21 pm

    I believe it has to be the threat of the loss of season ticket renewals. The restoration of the “Rainbow” didn’t cost any money. The buy-out is $750,000. So if a buy-out is the only thing that will effect a coaching change, then the power brokers will win again. It’s scary to think whom they might bring in. But this begs the question, “Do we, the fans, have any real influence?” Probably not. Just my two-cents.

  3. 4-Prong November 4, 2014 5:43 pm

    I think someone starting a kickstarter called “fire chow now” would be both hilarious and interesting. I wonder how long it would take for the $750k to be met, both in hawaii, and from just people around the entire internet.

    after all, some dude got like $1M or something for making tuna sandwiches, as a joke.

  4. blunite November 4, 2014 6:02 pm

    Definition of “insane”: repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. I.E. continuing to “buy out” football contracts; especially, in a fiscal crisis. (Fred Von Appen, Greg Mcmackin, Norm Chow?) Honor the contract and learn from this mistake; foremost, CHANGE future CONTRACTS.

    Back-load the contract, include a “competitive” clause that mandates a level of success each year, or release. (Tie the salary to the level of success.) Then hire young aspiring coaches and give them the minimum.

  5. 4-Prong November 4, 2014 6:23 pm

    actually the guy got less than $100k.. nevermind.

  6. 4-Prong November 4, 2014 6:29 pm

    blunite: that type of contract woudl probably make UH non-competitive with other schools. it’s not like UH is such an attractive football destination that young up and coming coaches and established effective coaches would take crappy back loaded contracts for minimum pay.

  7. sharene November 4, 2014 10:53 pm

    Removing the coach mid season will demoalize an already downtrodden group of young men. You may as well forfeit the remaining games.

    Instead, have businesses donate fan give aways that will make fans want to go to games and build school pride. Big businesses can buy blocks of seats and donate them to students applying to UH. Show that we are bigger than all of this and we will survive and come back better.

    Control and build up. The team is down…don’t kick them when they are down. Support them.

  8. Les November 5, 2014 5:32 am

    Payback is a bitch. Finally Dave Reardon is finally having his fun in the sun. Getting kicked off the field and now it’s payback time. Kick Chow when he’s on the ground, get the school bus and roll over him a few times. Feel Better?
    Seems like everyone knows we have a problem. We need a problem solver.
    Find a coach who is willing to come to Hawaii knowing full well if he doesn’t start winning he will get castrated. You won’t have a shortage of applicants. There are a lot of rotting corpses to choose from. How is this coach going to attract blue chippers here and on the mainland with the kind of support you read about in the sports columns. Pay him cheap because he is to young, to old, losing record, no experience, and stupid. Somone like that won’t get past the stench (search) committee. Damn it, let the guy finish out the season. In closing, JJ left Hawaii to go to SMU for a perception he had that Hawaii did not support the program. Dejavu.

  9. 4-Prong November 5, 2014 6:20 am

    to be honest, people wouldn’t be talking about firing chow midseason if they didn’t already think that to keep chow in would be almost the same as forfeiting the rest of the games anyway.

  10. Kanak November 5, 2014 8:05 am

    #6 A firing is purely business, and the earlier you do it the more time it allows the school to begin the search for a new coach and also to continue the recruiting process. Also can’t see businesses jumping in at Week 10 of a losing season with 1 more home game to support… Chalk this season up as a loss already! Don’t think they will fire Chow in-season, but if they do decide to fire it should be immediately following the season… GO BOWS!!!

  11. kakaako kid November 5, 2014 9:26 am

    I think UH should eliminate football altogether. Focus funds and energy into developing a top flight basketball program. Elimination of football would allow UH to eliminate a whole bunch of money draining athletic teams. At the end of the day, the football team has zero chance of competing for a national title. A good basketball team would theoretically have a shot at national title with a good tournament run. I know football revenue drive the department, but elimination of all those women’s sports would be a great saving to the UH. UH athletics would consist of basketball, baseball and maybe a couple more. Crazy?

  12. man eating apple November 5, 2014 10:44 am

    Crazy? Haha try utterly stupid, kid. You want to eliminate a program that can make money.

    I’ve said this phrase here many times before: UH can make money off of a football team even when the football team is not winning championships.

    It takes investment, creating a football experience, rather than just a football game where they nickel and dime you (ticket fees on top of ticket prices, parking fees, expensive bland foods, etc). Things that UH is not doing right now.

  13. tom November 5, 2014 1:24 pm

    #11 kakaako kid

    You cannot get rid of women’s teams. Federal Law, TItle IX, as long as you give scholarships for men.

  14. 4-Prong November 5, 2014 6:18 pm

    Kakaako Kid: that was probably stupider than hossanna’s last post, and almost as dumb as Les’s post. Aside from the title XI implications, if you eliminated all of those other sports, UH would no longer field enough teams to remain in Division I. So basically, there won’t be a national championship unless you’re talking about NAIA or division III (in which case, say goodbye to all those scholarships).

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