Local Connection: University of Hawaii Athletics

Local Connection: University of Hawaii Athletics

By: Rick Blangiardi

The University of Hawaii's Athletic Department and fiscal year is quickly coming to an end in just a few short days.  It will finish $2-million in the red and that is against an operating plan that was "suppressed" with cost cutting on every level, hiring freezes, wage freezes and other measures.

I think it fair to say, and reasonable to assume that if the Athletic Department was afforded a more appropriate and realistic expense budget that the "budget deficit" would be substantially higher.  Unfortunately, it is a sad and concerning fact that the Athletic Department has lost money 10 of the past 12 years.

In fact, in looking at the coming fiscal year, the Athletic Director said he intends to cut $4-million from the proposed budgets submitted by the coaches and staff – reducing the operating expense budget to around $30-million – this is not a growth strategy – at best, it barely perpetuates the status quo. Something has to change to engage the UH fan base in all sports.

The football team kicks off against the University of Washington in just a little more than two months from now. And most unfortunately in the face of anemic ticket sales.  It is not difficult to project that anything short of a miracle season presents a real threat to the financial's for the next fiscal year.

Isn't it time we see a better strategy with the potential of being well executed which is geared to financial growth cost cutting is not strategy…at best it is merely a tactic.  Where is the vision?

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