Sports Outside the Beltway

College Basketball team slowed on way to Moscow

Papers please, comrade. From the Honolulu Advertiser-

Perhaps it was fitting that the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team had to sit for about 30 minutes on a stalled bus on a dark and lonely road on the way to Moscow, Idaho, last night.

“We got here, that’s all that matters,” Hawai’i head coach Bob Nash said.

And without a trip to the gulag either!

Just an attempt at humor here. You just get a chance to write many sports posts headlines like I did here.


San Jose State Coach Dick Tomey announces his retirement

The Spartans haven’t been particularly successful since he took over in 2005, but Tomey leaves the school as its winningest coach in 20 years. From AP-

Dick Tomey created countless long-term relationships during his 29 years as a head football coach.

The Gold Room in the Simpkins Center was overflowing Monday with his latest friends, colleagues and players when Tomey announced he was retiring from coaching, effective following San Jose State’s game against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 5.

The 71-year-old coach said this was an opportunity for he and his wife, Nanci Kincaid, to “open a new chapter.”

“We have a lot of responsibilities left on the mainland, including six grandchildren to visit, but effectively we will be going back to the place we love the most and that’s Hawaii,” said Tomey, who has 182 wins during stints at Hawaii, Arizona and San Jose State.

Tomey’s first college head coaching job was at Hawaii, which he built into a powerhouse when he took over in 1977. He left for Arizona in 1987 and built the Wildcats into a top 10 power before leaving after the 2000 season.

He took over at San Jose State in 2005 and found a program in turmoil. Academic penalties cost the Spartans 57 scholarships and limited spring practices during his tenure at the school.

Enjoy your retirement coach.


Aloha- Washington State cancels Hawaii game

If I was a Cougar football player, my heart would be breaking now. From AP-

Washington State will pay $300,000 for canceling its 2011 game at Hawaii.

Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan says he received a letter last week from Washington State, canceling the final contest of a three-game series between the schools.

WSU cited uncertain changes in the Pac-10 scheduling. The cancellation fee will need to be paid within 30 days of the scheduled game, which was set for Nov. 26, 2011, at Aloha Stadium.

The teams met in November in Honolulu and the Cougars host the Warriors in Seattle on Saturday.

The Cougars aren’t the only team to cancel a date against the Warriors in recent years. Michigan State paid $250,000 to get out its 2007 matchup. Hawaii went 12-0 that year before losing to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Uncertain scheduling? Since most conference games are scheduled years in advance, is the real reason WSU’s need for a ‘body bag‘ game. Hawaii isn’t a pushover anymore. Honestly, the reason could be the cost of traveling to Hawaii.


85 people apply to be Univ. of Hawaii Women’s basketball coach

Darn! I am not one of them. From the Honolulu Advertiser-

The University of Hawai’i has received 85 applications for the position of head women’s basketball coach, athletic director Jim Donovan announced yesterday.

The job became vacant when UH released Jim Bolla, its coach the past five seasons, on April 6 citing cause. He had two years remaining on a contract that was believed to pay approximately $120,000 per year.

Bolla filed a wrongful termination suit April 13 and is seeking reinstatement and damages.

Meanwhile, April 24 was the deadline for applications for the position. Applicants will be screened by a five-member search committee chaired by UH’s senior woman’s administrator, Marilyn Moniz-Kaho’ohano-hano.

A decision is expected this month. April 15 was the first day that schools could begin signing recruits.

I haven’t heard of a Division I school filling a job position in this fashion before. How about anyone else?


Hawaii reaches financial agreement with former football coach

It stems from a dispute between the University and June Jones after he left Hawaii for SMU earlier this year. From AP-

Hawaii has resolved its financial dispute with former football coach June Jones over the early termination of his contract, officials said Friday.

Under the agreement, the June Jones Foundation has donated $100,010 to a scholarship fund for students pursing degrees in Hawaiian studies or language. In addition, an undisclosed donor has contributed $100,000 to the school.

“Hawaii is my home; therefore as I look beyond our past achievements in football, maintaining a healthy relationship with UH and sustaining productive contributions to our island communities will always be important to me,” Jones said in a statement.

He also encouraged his former team to beat Notre Dame in next week’s Hawaii Bowl.

The university has said it was owed $400,008 in damages because Jones left Hawaii before his five-year contract expired June 30. The figure represents half his annual salary with the Warriors.

Jones resigned and accepted a job worth about $2 million a year at Southern Methodist, six days after Hawaii lost to Georgia in last January’s Sugar Bowl to finish the season 12-1.

Under his Hawaii contract, Jones was prohibited from accepting employment “under any circumstances” as a football coach at any NCAA school or professional team in the United States before the expiration date … “without first obtaining a written release or a negotiated settlement.”

“In the event the university releases coach of his obligations under this agreement, coach shall be responsible for paying to the university liquidated damages,” Jones’ contract stated.

If Jones had asked for Hawaii’s permission like most coaches do, he may have avoided the payments. Hawaii had a right to go after their former coach but it could do long term damage to the school by discouraging potential applicants from taking a job in fear they would have a repeat of the Jones affair should they want to leave.

Update- Ian Lind has an interesting post that delves into the donations to the Foundation in question. He writes “So how in the world does money collected by the foundation for charitable purposes get used to pay off the contractual debt of the former coach who just happens to also be the foundation’s chairman?”


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


Hawaii stays perfect, downs Washington 35-28

The Golden Rainbow finish their Cinderella season by overcoming a 21-point deficit.

Honolulu, HI (Sports Network) – Colt Brennan threw for 442 yards and five touchdowns, and Ryan Mouton intercepted a Jake Locker pass in the end zone with three seconds remaining as 11th-ranked Hawaii overcame an early 21-point deficit to beat Washington, 35-28, ending its regular season undefeated for the first time in school history.

Hawaii (12-0) took the lead with 44 seconds remaining on a five-yard pass from Brennan to Ryan-Grice Miller, but just 20 seconds later the Huskies were threatening with a 1st-and-goal at the four. Locker was dropped for a two-yard loss, then tossed the interception, which was tipped in the air in front of Mouton.

Brennan completed 42-of-50 passes for Hawaii, which clinched its first outright Western Athletic Conference title last Friday and is now certainly headed to a BCS bowl game.

Hawaii is a Division one school, they went undeated. No one else can say that. Am I missing something, but is there a team out there with one loss?

So the Golden Rainbows should be in the title game. They won’t, which tells you the BCS is screwed up.


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