University of Hawaii football fans flocked to Murphy's Bar and Grill in Downtown Honolulu to support its annual Pigskin Pigout fundraiser amidst talk this week about the future of the football team.
There was plenty of pig and extra meat on the bone for these football fans.
"It's delicious," said Ed Chu, a supporter of UH football.
But it's extremely lean times for the UH athletics department. A projected deficit in the millions this year, and a deficit in 11 of the last 13 years has forced UH Athletics Director Ben Jay, according to him, to "cut the budget to the bone."
"We've gone to every revenue line trying to get as much as we can. We have goals for the department, but will end up in a shortfall this year, it's been a chronic problem. It’s a problem we finally have to deal with," said Jay.
Jay's headline making remarks about the football team's future earlier this week didn't deter any of these fans, who paid $100 dollars per ticket each to eat, drink and support the team.
"I didn’t think much of it. I've been hearing it for years. It’s business as usual. We'll do our best to move forward and do the best we can to support the University and the football team," said Chu.
Jay has already secured some cuts, including one from all the head coaches who volunteered to trim the fat with a 5 percent operational budget cut that does not affect salaries or student athlete scholarships.
UH Regent Chuck Gee said the trimmed budget may not be large enough for a Division I program.
"He has surmised that maybe we’re not supporting Division I athletics the way we should be. That was his message to the rest of the board. I appreciate that thought and that’s the same message we have," said Jay.
Organizers say they're hoping to raise roughly $100,000 from the event for the football team.