SBD/July 5, 2012/Colleges

Islands Of Misadventure: Univ. Of Hawaii Facing 11-Year Net Deficit Of $11M

Over last decade, UH finished in the black only when football won 10 or more games
The Univ. of Hawaii athletic department has been “attempting to operate in the 21st century with much the same old 20th-century formula,” and its annual deficit “might hit $2.3 million, with the accumulated 11-year net deficit topping $11 million,” according to Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu STAR-ADVERTISER. That estimate is “pending final NCAA disbursements and other yet-to-be-totaled-accounts.” The department has “managed just two finishes in the black in 10 previous years, and both of those involved the football team winning 10 games or more.” Now, with the “additional burden of anteing up approximately $1.2 million in travel subsidies that comes with Mountain West and Big West membership, achieving a healthy bottom line becomes even more difficult.” Lewis suggests to give the department “a bigger chunk of parking, merchandising, signage, etc., and then it might be realistic to expect it to stand on its feet on a regular basis again.” UH is “billed for Aloha Stadium cleanup, but shares in none of the concession revenue and little of the parking profits.” Nor does it “share in the off-the-field signage proceeds or the $2.5 million field naming rights deal despite being the major draw at the facility.” The UH Board of Regents was told that trying "to be competitive and balance the books at UH is akin 'to fighting Manny Pacquiao with one arm tied behind your back.'" Lewis: “It is time to loosen that other arm if we are to expect anything to change” (Honolulu STAR-ADVERTISER, 7/5).
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