A supporter of the Warrior nickname on a UH fan site asked me to do an article in the paper about rumors of pressure exerted upon athletic director Ben Jay to change his decision on the nickname from “Warrior” to “Rainbow Warrior.” My response follows.
Here’s why I won’t do that kind of article: After two days of asking around I’ve discovered zero evidence of any big money donor throwing his weight around to force the AD to change his decision, or any kind of conspiracy. One source did tell me he heard a rumor that the governor placed a call in support of Rainbow. Could there have been a plot? Sure, but if there was it was extremely well camouflaged. Did some powerful people express their preference to the AD? Yes, as did a lot of not-so-powerful people. But four or five sources who deal closely with boosters (and one who is a booster) continued to tell me the nickname is not an issue with big money donations. Could they all be lying? Possibly, but I doubt it. I’ll say the same thing I said to the Rainbow supporters … if this is really that important to you you should’ve made your feelings known to the AD with an organized effort including petitions, rallies, etc. … the difference is the Rainbow dudes actually did it. There were no pro-Warrior counter Rainbow demonstrators at Bachman Hall two weeks ago. No Warrior supporters made their voices heard at the Thursday night town hall. I’m not saying the high-profile Stephen Chinen and Mark Takai were the game-changers, but this much is clear: The pro-Rainbow people wanted it more, and they convinced Jay that their perspective of UH’s tradition was worth saving despite lack of a consensus either way.