Plusses At UH, But Room To Improve

Bob Hogue
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Wednesday - June 20, 2007
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Coach Bob Nash
Coach Bob Nash

I get mail, mostly e-mail. Over the past several weeks, I have received more than my share of angry e-mails about the performance of University of Hawaii athletics director Herman Frazier.

Since this is a family magazine, I won’t tell you what some of those e-mails said. But I can tell you that some of them weren’t very nice.

Disturbed by the failure to secure a 13th game on the football schedule, and the weakness of that schedule, plus the length of the basketball coach hiring process, the “soap” fiasco and facilities problem, communications breakdowns, fundraising issues, coaching contracts, and much more, UH fans have bombarded me (and others in the local media) with negative images of the leadership of UH athletics.

And then I got another e-mail. This one was sent by the UH athletic department in what is called H-mail. Consider it the “other side of the story.”

Included in the H-mail was a listing of Hawaii’s positive sports stories from the 2006-2007 seasons. Here is that listing, verbatim:

The football team tied a school record with 11 victories.

June Jones became UH’s winningest head football coach with 64 victories in NCAA competition.

The football team finished in the Top 25 for the first time in 14 years.

Quarterback Colt Brennan broke or tied 18 NCAA records and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

Bob Nash became the first African-American head men’s basketball coach in UH history.

The softball team made its first-ever appearance in an NCAA Super Regional with a 50-13 overall record and a 16-2 conference record, both tops in the program’s history.

The softball team swept the WAC postseason awards, winning Coach, Player, Pitcher and Freshman of the Year honors.

The women’s golf team made its first-ever appearance in an NCAA Tournament.

The women’s track & field team had a student-athlete qualify for two NCAA championship events for the first time in UH history.

The men’s tennis team had a player earn a bid to the NCAA championship for the first time in school history.

The men’s golf team recorded its best finish ever at the WAC championship, finishing one stroke shy of the title.

Women’s volleyball setter Kanoe Kamana’o became just the second player in UH history to earn All-America honors for four straight years.

It’s an impressive list. As a sports fan, I can’t help but stand up and cheer for the good things that have happened for UH athletics this year.

But as a member of the media, it’s my job to balance both the negative stories and the positive ones. Please know that as a reporter, I’d much rather report positive stories. This year, unfortunately, many have suggested the bad outweighed the good.

In the words of the UH head football coach, who responded to a query about the football schedule by saying “it’s time to move on,” I think it’s time that we as sports fans move on with our expectations of the athletic department and its director.

We should expect the very best from his performance. We should expect results in future scheduling, results in completion of contracts, results in improvement of facilities and results in fundraising.

In the coming months, we should expect the same type of positive H-mail we received about the UH athletic teams when it comes to reporting the successes of the athletic administration. We should expect nothing less than positive results.

That’s called accountability. We can’t look the other way. Neither can those at the decision-making level at the university. If those positive expectations are not met, then those decision-makers are expected to do what the public expects of them.

If those positive expectations are not met, then it truly is time to move on.

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