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AD Ben Jay: 'Very real possibility' that Hawaii drops football

Hawaii is in deep financially, and there is growing concern that shutting down the football program is a real possibility.

Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawaii Warriors football program is in a large financial hole and at a Board of Regents meeting held Monday, athletic director Ben Jay says, "there's a very real possibility of football going away." The football program has been running in the red in 11 of its 13 seasons and is facing a $2.1 million deficit in the current fiscal year.

This should not come as too big of a surprise that Hawaii football is having money issues, because back in 2007 former star quarterback Colt Brennan complained about there being no soap in the locker rooms.

Even with Hawaii making eight bowl games in the 2000s -- which includes a Sugar Bowl berth from the 2007 season -- the football program is desperately in need of funds. Attendance has been dwindling as well for the past few years and it does not help that Norm Chow is just 4-20 over the past two seasons as Warriors head coach. Hawaii's last bowl appearance was in 2010, in which the team lost at home to Tulsa.

Season tickets sales have been lacking as well, with only 15,500 season tickets sold for this upcoming season despite a solid home schedule which includes Washington, Oregon State, Utah State and Nevada. Hawaii has not sold less than 18,000 season tickets in a year since the 1970s, and it seems that the 2014 team are unlikely to reach that mark.

It would be a real shame if the Hawaii football program had to shutdown. There is a lot of tradition in the islands with teams that put up monster yards with Brennan under former coach June Jones. Timmy Chang is second all-time in NCAA passing yards. Plus, losing that midnight eastern kickoff would be a shame, even though not as many are carried on national television anymore.

Outside of the recent drastic dip in production from current head coach Chow, the Hawaii program has had successful head coaches. In fact, there are only three coaches who have lasted more than one year and had a losing record in their tenure: Hank Vasconcellos, who coached Hawaii to a 44-45-3 record from 1952-1960, Fred von Appen had a record of 5-31 between 1996-1998 and now Chow who is 16 games under .500 and after just two seasons.