Wahine water polo season is over

Bobby Curran
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Friday - May 11, 2007
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UH Wahine senior goalkeeper Meike De Nooy
UH Wahine senior goalkeeper Meike De Nooy

You can’t help but feel for the University of Hawaii Wahine water polo team. Ranked fourth in the nation, the Wahine were bypassed, as a lower seeded team, No. 5, San Diego State, received an at-large bid to the NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championships.

Despite having beaten San Diego State twice, most recently in the MPSF playoffs, and finishing ahead of the Aztecs in the conference standings, the Wahine season is over.

As long as it costs more to fly Hawaii teams to the Mainland than it does to bus Mainland teams to tournament sites, Hawaii teams will continue to get robbed. This is not the only Hawaii team to be passed over; it is not even the worst example.

Vince Goo had a basketball team that went 28-4 and was not chosen for the regional. In the non-revenue sports there is always a chance for shenanigans. There is little oversight and less interest. If this happened to a men’s basketball team where the financial stakes are high, there would be calls for an investigation.

Despite the NCAA’s insistence that costs do not weigh in the selection process, it’s hard to believe. And the cronyism (Aztec coach Carin Crawford is on the selection committee) is difficult to ignore.

Hawaii’s teams continue to have to be that much better than their competition to get to the post-season.

It’s good to be the king. Seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens has announced that he will accept the New York Yankees $28 million pro-rated offer to pitch the last four months of the season. The 44-year-old right-hander will receive about $4.5 million per month, $750,000 per start and roughly $7,500 for every pitch. The Yankees are desperate for starting pitching with Carl Pavano and Phillip Hughes out, and Mike Mussina recovering from injury. The desperation led the Yankees to cave in to Clemens’ demand to not have to be with the team in between starts, something the Yankees would not previously permit, and the main reason he spent the last two years out of pinstripes. And the Yankees think it’s a bargain if it helps them catch the Red Sox. Go figure.

UH quarterback Colt Brennan’s recent diatribe about facilities might have surprised some people, but it shouldn’t have. Even a casual tour of the lower campus shows many offices, meeting rooms and locker rooms to be in disrepair. It’s not that UH is falling behind the big boys, it’s now running way behind teams like Nevada and San Jose State. At some point it will become impossible to compete on a high level if changes are not made. A capital improvement plan must move from the wish list to the drawing board. Sadly, it’s not just the athletic facilities that need a facelift; it’s a campus-wide problem. Making the University a first class institution should be a priority, and the physical plant is a great place to start.

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