By Jason Tang
MANOA (KHNL) -- It's a big conference matchup Thursday evening for the Rainbow Warrior Basketball team as they host the New Mexico State Aggies over at the Stan Sheriff Center.
However, the team won't have the advantage they used to in the past.
For almost a decade fans at the Stan Sheriff Center have received free balloons care of the folks at Honolulu Ford to help cheer on UH. However, this year that's not the case.
The Western Athletic Conference is enforcing the NCAA's policy of not permitting fans to use any sort of artificial noise maker.
Traditionally, fans rub the balloon to make a screeching noise when the opponent shoots free throws, and the WAC says that's gotta go.
"It was always in a grey area of whether it violated not just WAC rules but NCAA rules, and in the past the WAC has probably looked the other way, but we had to look at whether the balloon violate WAC rules and the answer we came up was yes, the violate both NCAA and WAC rules," said WAC Commissioner Karl Benson.
"When they tell you, you can have the balloon, but just make sure the fans don't do anything with them, that's almost impossible to police. Somebody's going to do it," said Auto Dealer president Dave Chun.
If fans do violate the rules, their team will be assessed a technical foul.
Honolulu Ford has stopped passing out the balloons altogether to avoid any penalties on the team.
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