Monday, December 22, 2014

The UH model is outdated and badly broken

The UH model is outdated and badly broken and whoever UH hires as its next athletic director —whenever that might be — is going to need some help in creating a viable new one.

Fact is athletics receives less than 1 percent of the general funds bestowed upon the university. Much of that for lower campus janitorial services, landscaping and some administration.

In the leagues UH competes in, its outside support is either at the very bottom or within shouting distance of it. This while it faces higher costs due to its geography.

Athletics receives none of the proceeds from parking for athletic events on its own campus. Nor does it share in the millions in advertising signage or concessions revenue from its games at Aloha Stadium, where it is the marquee tenant. Though it is charged for stadium clean-up.

Some years it gets not a cent from the Hawaii Tourism Authority despite the TV exposure and fans from the continent its events draw.

All of this, of course, while the Pro Bowl writes its own check.

That is less the fault of Aloha Stadium than the state, which gives the facility's management and Stadium Authority its marching orders and oversees its operation.

But an accounting of the benefits UH athletics provides to the school and state needs to somehow be monetized. Be it in the form of a credit chit to be applied at fiscal year-end audit or some hard cash up front.

Continuing to wait for Santa Claus or Larry Ellison isn't the answer.

-- Ferd Lewis

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