For the most part, we’re nice people.
We’re the only place in the country where we thank other drivers for letting us change lanes.
We leave the last piece of food on a serving tray in case there might be someone who might want it later. We call anyone older “auntie” or “uncle.” Even when we’re not at fault, we apologize to the people behind us in line when a computer-malfunction delays our transaction at the counter.
And when somebody is encouraged to resign, we feel bad, and apologize that maybe it was an impossible job, anyway.
Running an athletic department is not an impossible job. It’s difficult, to be sure, but not impossible.
For starters, UH sports is an attractive product. It’s so attractive people are willing to pay above the face-value of a ticket for the right to buy a ticket. Do you think people would fork over double the price for any other product besides a Bruno Mars concert?
There also are many people who want to contribute in any way. There was an “Archie” comic story in which multi-millonaire Mr. Lodge brags how he donates thousands of dollars to charity when Archie donated only a few dollars. Archie responded: “I only had a few dollars. I gave everything I had.” People with very little disposable income want to help. Any donation is a good donation. There was a church on Molokai in which some members donated fruit as tithe.
There is money in Hawaii. The Louis Vuitton store is never hurting for customers. Would it hurt Matson or Young Brothers to sponsor an event or two?
UH also should hire car-sales people to solicit donations on a commission-based arrangement. The thing about them is they work hard, and are relentless and motivated. In the car business, if you don’t make sales, you don’t eat or pay bills that month.
UH is flawed, but not broken, and people should not have to apologize when things don’t work out. Sometimes, it’s not the system that fails. Sometimes, leaders — no matter how nice, honorable and well-meaning — fail.