Warriors’ early-bird special

Yeah, yeah, after constant requests, here’s the skinny on the new Hawaii exemption.

> The rule: The year an FBS team plays in Hawaii, it may open the regular season five days earlier than the usual Thursday opening to the NCAA football schedule. If Hawaii has six home games, for instance, Hawaii and those six teams may start earlier. Rule goes into effect this Aug. 1.

> But wait: While the FBS has fully approved the rule, the FCS has given only conditional support because the voting members did not pass the measure by 85 percent or more. The FCS may rescind the approval within 60 days.

> Benefit I: The extra week means UH can avoid playing a bye-less schedule of 13 games in the 13-week window for the regular season. Now UH can still play 13 games but also have a bye. “It’s a positive for student-athletes to get a bye,” UH AD David Matlin said.

> Benefit II: NCAA limits FBS teams to 12 regular-season games. But FBS teams are allowed to play a 13th regular-season game in Hawaii. But some were reluctant because they did not want to squeeze a 13-games-in-13-weeks schedule. Now they, too, can play in Hawaii, get a 13th game, and also earn a bye. “I think it definitely will help us reach out to a broader base of opponents,” Matlin said.

> How it began: Several years ago, Jim Donovan, who was UH’s AD at the time, crafted an outline for the early-start exemption. And then when Donovan left, the draft was left in the wind. Matlin, who was hired last year, recalled Donovan’s proposal. Matlin and associate AD Carl Clapp revised the draft, then sent it to the Mountain West Conference. The MWC leadership approved the measure, forwarding it to the NCAA committee on rules oversights. That proposal was approved, then forwarded to a top NCAA committee, which gave its blessing. “I was very pleased the Mountain West helped us,” Matlin said. “That would be all our colleagues It’s a good decision for our student-athletes, and it enables us to more effectively schedule 13 games.”

> Not yet: The Warriors used a different rule — the international exemption — to open the 2016 season on Aug. 27 in Australia. UH will try to use the new Hawaii exemption beginning in 2017.


  1. Pupule May 6, 2016 11:31 am

    Ekahi !


  2. madeinhawaii May 6, 2016 11:38 am

    That’s up to 14 teams, 7 contests that can be played on the weekend before the rest of the teams. Up to 12 teams not including UH and whomever they are playing. If UH plays an FCS team (provided they don’t recind the decision) that leaves only 5 other contests in the FBS. FOUR of the five will include MWC teams. This is a TV coup for the MWC and consideration should be given to Hawaii regarding the travel fees that it pays. Maybe the PAC12 might reconsider expanding once they realize that they could have 4 games on National TV before anyone else. That’s a lot of value UH could bring to the table.

  3. cheepono May 6, 2016 11:46 am

    ST you da man! much mahaloz for this post.

  4. H-Man May 6, 2016 11:50 am

    Really good point, madeinhawaii. Hawaii ready to move up in most sports, but really lagging in flagship sport, football. Let’s see what Rolo and staff can accomplish next three years.

  5. Stephen Tsai May 6, 2016 11:54 am

    Anyone else notice the Hawaii Bowl will be played on Christmas Eve again this year.
    Thing is, Christmas falls on a Sunday, so the NFL is moving all but one of its games to Christmas Eve. I think Hawaii Bowl competes directly with Cincinnati-Houston game.

  6. cheepono May 6, 2016 11:55 am

    and a big mahalo to the fans that first started following this awesome revelation and bringing this to light for the rest of us.

    in the last year or so, UH athletics has completely turned the ship around. got a competent AD we can all rally around and get behind. new buzz with the football program. unprecedented achievements from both basketball programs. shoji’s girls going deep in the NCAA tourney. sandbows in the natty championship hunt. awesome times for UH athletics. hope this leads to new and continued financial contributions as well. feel so much more comfortable about donating now than ever before.

  7. Warbow May 6, 2016 12:05 pm

    Don’t tell the PAC 12 about this new rule, they be sure to come knocking on our door for an invite. One extra game plus now they get a buy plus all the TV exposure given for the early start games.

    Hawaii should go back to the MWC and demand to cut all travel subs, this new rule does more then enough to cover the cost. Cut the travel subs or we go independent.

  8. Warbow May 6, 2016 12:06 pm

    Don’t tell the PAC 12 about this new rule, they be sure to come knocking on our door for an invite. One extra game plus now they get a buy plus all the TV exposure given for the early start games.

    Hawaii should go back to the MWC and demand to cut all travel subs, this new rule does more then enough to cover the cost. Cut the travel subs or we go independent.

  9. tommui May 6, 2016 12:59 pm


    #6 cheepono:
    Agree with you that Coach Rolo and the AD has turned the program around – hooray!

    In all fairness to Ben Jay, he came into the program which was in disarray with many “experts” from above and downtown giving him instructions and he wasn’t his own man – same characters that were pushing Jim Donovan hither and yonder.
    I suspect that the current AD made sure that he was in command before he took the job.

    Incidentally, did the Legislature pass the 3M bill which would have aided the Athletic Department?

  10. truegreen May 6, 2016 1:11 pm

    #8 tommui: no, the Legislature did not. nor did they approve a new State Sports Authority to promote sports tourism. small minds win the day again…

  11. Na Alii Pride May 6, 2016 1:13 pm

    #2 @Madeinhawaii – I like that thinking! Pac-12 might still be a pipe dream, but as @warbow said, this might put us in a better position with the MWC. Also agree with @cheepono that a competent AD has made all the difference. Feeling so much better about UH athletics recently.

  12. Kifi May 6, 2016 1:43 pm

    Probably old news to most of you, but new to me. Congratulations to former Warrior Blake Muir on his free agent signing with the 49ers.

  13. H-Man May 6, 2016 1:46 pm

    I think the message is clear. If you want support for UH Athletics from the state, then you must vote for candidates that support the program. Without blinking, the legislature gave Gov. Ige $12 million to help him initiate his homeless plan. And they didn’t blink when they turned down the AD’s request for assistance.

  14. Warbow May 6, 2016 2:19 pm

    H-Man…I think I have a solution to both problems. They should give UH Athletics the 12 million and in-turn the UH must hire these homeless that money was to be used for so they can find a place to live. Win-win.

  15. truegreen May 6, 2016 2:22 pm

    Benefit IIa: Teams can actually choose to play at Hawaii, start the season early, and still remain at 12 games so that they have 2 “bye” weeks…OR play a team that plays at Hawaii during the early week and also earn the extra “bye” week.

    Benefit III: As has been mentioned several times, the limited number of games during Week “0” means more exposure and more opportunity for national TV time for the few select teams who take advantage of the new Hawaii exemption.

    So now that “Benefits II, IIa, and III” give teams much more incentive to schedule games at Hawaii, this leads us to…

    Possible Benefit IV: The only thing limiting the number of home games Hawaii plays is that 4 MWC games must be played on the road. If Hawaii is smart enough and shrewd enough to fully leverage this new exemption, they could conceivably schedule up to NINE home games in a season, which actually occurred in the 80s. (BYU used to play at Hawaii almost every year by choice until Coach Wags started smoking them.)

    Possible Benefit V: Hawaii now becomes a more attractive conference member. Nearly half the conference members are MANDATED to play at Hawaii by virtue of conference scheduling. Anyone who plays ANY of those four teams during the season (which most likely covers the entire remaining conference members) has the opportunity to schedule them in that early week. They don’t get an extra game, but they DO get to start a week early and thus earn the extra “bye” week and extra exposure.

    Possible Benefit VI: Hawaii now offers several additional benefits to the MWC. Not only do the MWC teams get to take advantage of the early week, but so does any team that chooses to play those MWC teams that play at Hawaii. That makes it easier for those MWC teams to schedule non-conference games because schools have an incentive to play them too. All this adds to Hawaii’s value as a conference member, perhaps providing an opening to renegotiate travel subsidies or television revenue…OR

    Possible Benefit VII: The more this new exemption plays out, the more apparent it will quickly become that ANY conference that Hawaii is in receives a whole lot of extra benefits that no other conference does. This alone might not be enough for the PAC-12 to come calling, but pair this with a competitive football program and expansion into the Australia/Asia market and all of a sudden, Hawaii now has a whole lot more to offer, and is heavily in the conversation for expansion.

  16. Andrew May 6, 2016 3:00 pm


    Don’t speak too soon. There is a lot of buzz and optimism surrounding the football program now but if they struggle again that buzz will end very quickly. Sure he’s a first year coach and most will be patient but we’ve all seen how quickly patience fades.

  17. st. anthony trojan May 6, 2016 3:25 pm

    Well me thinks… that Japan i the market…way better then ne other in Asia..for so many reasons…which are sort of self evident…

  18. HawaiiMongoose May 6, 2016 3:26 pm

    ST, thank you for confirming the passage of the expanded exemption. This could turn out to be a game-changer for UH football and all of UH athletics in the long run. What’s interesting to me is that Jim Donovan started this, Ben Jay did nothing or was unable to advance it, but when Dave Matlin came aboard he pulled the right strings to revive it and get it passed. Congratulations and thank you Dave for doing the AD job the way it’s supposed to be done!

  19. HawaiiMongoose May 6, 2016 3:30 pm

    I’m just blue-skying here, but if UH were in the Pac-12, and thanks to the time and date differences between the Mainland, Hawaii and Asia/Australia, the conference could package up a football-double header with game 1 starting late Saturday afternoon on the U.S. west coast and game 2 starting early Saturday evening in Hawaii and the games could be shown live from late morning to late afternoon on Sunday in Australia, China, Korea and Japan. The same thing could be done with basketball double-headers. If the Pac-12 wants to expand their brand across the Pacific, that’s a great way to do it.

  20. madeinhawaii May 6, 2016 4:09 pm

    They could do a whole day of PAC14 teams… keep in mind that at least 4 would play in Hawaii in a given season if Hawaii was invited to the PAC… so 4 games 3 hours each.. 12 hours of PAC14 football on the weekend before anyone else. Hawaii should then schedule a FCS for the second week and an independent for the last OoC game.

  21. 3-Prong May 6, 2016 4:27 pm

    Finance Factors is hosting a Fundraiser for the Men’s Basketball Team next week on the 10th. Feels good to help work these events especially after last years historic season. Hope a lot of the players show up….

    Go Bows!

  22. Rodney May 6, 2016 4:44 pm

    Please Rolo and Matlin have not turn this
    program around.Not yet anyway!
    Win some championships… Heck have a
    winning season first.
    Let’s go bows!!!!
    What’s going on with the baseball team?
    Let’s go bows!!!!

  23. Da Punchbowl Kid May 6, 2016 4:44 pm

    This is good news! As posters have already stated, if this new rule is used properly it will give Hawai’i much more leverage it would not otherwise have in certain scenarios.

    I pray everything shakes out okay and the rule does in fact come into play. Looks like it’s not a completely done deal. Do we need for the FCS schools to approve it before it can be implemented?

  24. HawaiiMongoose May 6, 2016 5:01 pm

    #21, DPK, I don’t think so. In the April minutes of the NCAA Division I Council meeting, the expanded Hawaii exemption for FBS teams was listed as a separate proposal from the expanded exemption for FCS teams. The minutes also indicate that the FBS members of the Council voted 100% in favor of the FBS proposal, so that proposal is fully adopted, there is no waiting period, and UH’s FBS opponents will be able to take advantage of the expanded exemption after August 1st. The FCS members only voted 84% in favor of the FCS proposal (11-2), so there is a 60 day period during which the Division I Board can overrule the proposal. However if the Board does overrule it, that only means that UH’s FCS opponents won’t be able to take advantage of the exemption.

  25. Da Punchbowl Kid May 6, 2016 6:13 pm

    #22 – Mahalo – what a sly Mongoose you are. These are the kinds of opportunities Hawai’i needs to take full advantage of, given the many challenges we already face.

    As far as the Warriors go, winning helps everything. I believe.

  26. st. anthony trojan May 6, 2016 6:20 pm

    Well me thinks… that Japan is the market…way better then ne other in Asia..for so many reasons…which are sort of self evident…

  27. Bryson May 6, 2016 6:42 pm

    Hawai’i coaches are scouring the continent for those who want to Live Aloha Play Warrior…I hope their thrownet lands a good size catch

  28. Boya_jr May 6, 2016 6:51 pm

    Great news about the extra leverage that UH has in scheduling home games.

  29. A-House May 6, 2016 8:01 pm

    true green:

    How U?

    first (?) and last time I saw you was in NOLA for the Sugar Bowl – what a blast we had at that hotel that was gracious to allow us to “hog” so much space and who came very late because of a “hang-over”? Rich where are U???

    thanks for the comprehensive explanation of the “new” Hawaii exemption and the possibility of added incentive for the PAC 12 – always said, like others, wish UH was invited to the PAC12 – this exemption can be such a money maker from TV land and playing an extra game to offset any travel expense for all sports teams.

    can we say millions versus a $150,000 travel expense cost 3-4 years

    Dave Matlin – are you reading this blog? got great ideas from some very great minds.

  30. A-House May 6, 2016 8:03 pm

    the “new” Hawaii exemption can also aid UH coaches to reach out further in recruiting especially with added TV coverage

  31. truegreen May 6, 2016 9:51 pm

    Hey A-House, yup it’s been a while. I think I was the last one to show up at that Tsaiko gathering in NOLA. Lol, I had too many “hurricanes” the night before and slept in good. Was actually shocked you guys were still there, I came so late.

    Still got my season tickets and still got my fingers crossed for another New Year’s bowl again someday, hopefully soon. Hope to see you again before then, might be a while.

  32. legistlature May 7, 2016 1:52 am

    State High School Track & Field Finals
    Friday’s Trials was a treat to watch
    100 & 200 meters Finals
    Baldwin-Kamehameha Kapalama-Mililani-Konawaena-Damien-MidPac
    Got some speedsters clocked 10.5
    Some of the Warriors in attendance
    Keelan Ewaliko and several DB’s (locals)

  33. legistlature May 7, 2016 4:19 am

    $3M for UH athletics

  34. legistlature May 7, 2016 4:49 am

    10.5 was unofficial…hehe
    official time 10.75

  35. cappie the dog May 7, 2016 5:03 am

    I had wished that Hawaii would have cancelled the Wisconsin game so they could have a bye before the Boise State game.

    Penn State football is in the news again. The Hawaii basketball program has the same one-year postseason ban that PSU underwent. Remarkable, right?

    A lot of women probably molested Isaac Fotu’s hair.

    Consenting adults.

    I can’t believe “we’re” on probation. WE SELF-REPORTED!!!

  36. Stephen Tsai May 7, 2016 6:26 am

    New post: http://hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=37369

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