Ben Jay at the QB Club

A lot of what the new University of Hawaii athletic director said at the Honolulu Quarterback Club today was covered in this column on March 10.

Here are some of the other highlights of what he said at and after the QB Club meeting:

*When asked about the $11-million budget deficit, Jay said, “A lot of that deficit is accounting. We’re working with the university on that. A lot of it is a paper deficit.”

It’s no secret that the athletic department doesn’t get credit for a lot of revenue it generates, such as concessions, parking and apparel. There is also an issue on the other side of the equation, expenses.

Jay said a sizable savings would be generated if UH debited the department the lower in-state scholarship tuition rate for all student athletes, including those from the mainland.

*The renovation of Klum Gym into an athletic performance center (weight and cardio training, athletic trainers, etc.) and basketball and volleyball practice facility is near the top of Jay’s list of 10 facility improvements he has identified.

*He reiterated wanting to move soccer games to campus instead of playing them at Waipio, and also mentioned adding a golf short-game facility on campus.

*Regarding donations, Jay said, “We have not done a great job of going after big gifts,” and added he has identified untapped potential large donors. He said he is developing a plan to show potential donors exactly how their money would be used.

*On Aloha Stadium, he said, “We are just a renter. But there are things we need to do to enhance the experience.”

Part of that includes closing parts of the stadium for games that are not going to draw close to the facility’s 50,000-seat capacity. “We need to cut expenses. … We’re going to start moving people into sections where it looks good, especially on TV.”

*Jay mentioned on a couple of occasions the importance of feeding the student-athletes better quality, more nutritious food. To that end, he is working to raise their road per diem to the allowable maximum of the NCAA, which is around $45.

He is also trying to improve the training table meals.

*Jay said deciding to accept a bid for the Invitational was to give the men’s basketball team a chance at “redemption” after it played poorly and lost to UC Irvine in the first round of the Big West Tournament last week.

He said the financial goal for the buy-in tournament is to break even.


  1. Pomai March 18, 2013 11:58 pm

    *Regarding donations, Jay said, “We have not done a great job of going after big gifts,” and added he has identified untapped potential large donors. He said he is developing a plan to show potential donors exactly how their money would be used.

    “We have not done a great job of marketing at all” there is a huge potential of donors that is untapped, but as the saying goes “you can’t see the forest for the trees”

  2. PurpleMaple March 19, 2013 5:23 am

    I like this new AD.

  3. Jjay March 19, 2013 12:13 pm

    Awesome Ben. You are the Man!

  4. kimo browner March 19, 2013 9:34 pm

    I cant believe our athletes have been living on the road with less than $15 per meal.
    Unless there are roach coaches near the mainland hotels, I cant see how our kids survive.
    C’mon, even athletes have to tip! These are kids with big appetites, an extra snack at night is expected. Mr BJAY continues to impress and make sense and he has the fiscal where withall to see through the morass of bureaucratic mumble-jumble and esoteric accounting. It’s also equally amazing that previous administrations have failed miserably to recognize the obvious while always bumping prices as the only wonder fan support for Manoa has slipped down the proverbial toilet… Get it going Mr BJay!

  5. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc March 19, 2013 9:46 pm

    Number one priority is to change the state law regarding naming rights – not just on campus but also at Aloha Stadium. I was just blown away this past December when the Wahine volleyball team was playing in the Alaska Airlines Arene on the University of Washington campus. We name buildings and facilities after dead people or folks who have retired.

    Because Aloha Stadium is on lands not owned by the State of Hawai’i, Hawaiian Airlines had to apply to the Department of Interior to get the naming rights for the new football field.

  6. KL March 20, 2013 3:48 am

    Ben Jay, with his solid Big Ten experience and his financial/administrative expertise, is having a seismic impact on the University of Hawaii Athletic program and the planning, budgeting and administration of the University overall. University affairs are exceedingly complex and it takes an extraordinary professional to meet this challenge. Ben Jay is embarking on an iconic mission which will establish him as one of Hawaii’s all time greats. Go Ben! Go Hawaii!

  7. kkw March 20, 2013 7:54 am

    Great idea on Klum Gym. The concrete stucture is there and can be claimed as a historic building. A major donor can include their name on the facility. Make it look professional for recruiting purposes as well! Super idea Mr. Jay!

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