Hawaii AD Ben Jay Says Cutting Football A Possibility, But Later Clarifies Comments
Hawaii AD Ben Jay early yesterday told the school's Board of Regents there was a "very real possibility of football going away," but later clarified his comments, saying he was "in no way" indicating cuts were under consideration, according to Ferd Lewis of the HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER. Jay in a statement said, "My comments at the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics' meeting were made in order to convey a sense of urgency regarding the need to address our current funding model. In no way was I indicating that a decision on program reduction of any sport was under consideration. Rather, I was suggesting that the department's financial situation required that all possible scenarios be reviewed." Lewis notes Jay had been asking the state to come up with $3M to "help fund the financially struggling program" (HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER, 8/19). Jay in his original comments said cutting any sport was a "back pocket" possibility. Jay noted that UH closed the just-completed fiscal year with a $2.1M deficit and "projects at least" a $1.5M deficit for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2015. Jay said that was based upon "optimistic" figures and could go as high as $2.5-3.0M. He added that athletics has "run at a deficit for 11 of the last 13 years" (HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER, 8/19).