The college football world was put in to a whirlwind when Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay made the statement that "there's a very real possibility of [the Hawaii] football going away." The backlash was severe enough that the Jay had to release a statement to clarify those statements late Monday night, claiming he was taken out of context.
"My comments at the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics' meeting were made in order to convey a sense of urgency regarding the need to address our current funding model,"Jay said in a statement released by the school.
"In no way was I indicating that a decision on program reduction of any sport was under consideration. Rather, I was suggesting that the department's financial situation required that all possible scenarios be reviewed. Hopefully, going forward, there will be a priority placed on discussing the future financial needs of the UH Athletics Department. President David Lassner has expressed his support and we'll call upon our many loyal stakeholders to help us ensure that we remain competitive within the future landscape of intercollegiate athletics. We owe that to our student-athletes and passionate fans."
If Jay was going for urgency, he certainly hit that on the head by saying that getting rid of the storied football program that is Hawaii football could actually happen. This doesn't understate that the Hawaii football program needs to find a way to raise funds for their program. Money can come from ticket sales or just more donations from donors to make sure the football program isn't an albatross financially for the school.
Money should, pardon the pun, at all costs not come from student fees to keep the football team afloat, but it sure looks like Hawaii needs to do a better job of raising more funds. Putting a better product on the field so that people will want to show up and pay to see Hawaii football would be a start.