Local Connection: Ben Jay - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Ben Jay

By: Rick Blangiardi

University of Hawaii Athletics Director Ben Jay has a knack of saying what's on his mind but when he spoke publicly last week before the board of regents saying the football program might be eliminated, it was an ill-timed comment to say the least.

Coming less than two weeks before the team kicks off against 25th ranked Washington Huskies, the players and coaching staff were taken off guard when their focus should have been on preparing for the game.

Does the athletics department have financial problems, of course. But to say (quote) there is a very real possibility of football going away (unquote) and backtracking five hours later to say that eliminating sports was never under consideration is puzzling for a man in his position, as well as the rest of us, for that matter.

I think we all know that UH sports needs help. It needs some big financial backers to right the ship and believe me, there is plenty of money generated in this state by all sectors to fill that $3M gap.

But community leaders need to have confidence in the man who is running the athletics department and to determine whether he has a vision for growth for the department and certainly not have it suffer a death by a thousand cuts.

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