Rainbows or Warriors?UPDATED 7:16 PM HST May 02, 2013Video Transcript
University of Hawaii to press PAUSE on a controversial name change.. Good evening I'm Paula Akana. And I'm Yunji De Nies. Sound familiar? It should! The great debate... Rainbows versus Warriors is boiling over again! KITV4's Andrew Pereira talks to people close to the program who insist.. CHANGE IS BAD! For former University of Hawaii basketballer Alika Smith... Rainbow Warriors is part of his DNA. ALIKA SMITH: "I GAVE MY BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS FOR FOUR YEARS AS A RAINBOW AND I LOVE THE NAME RAINBOW, I'LL ALWAYS BE A RAINBOW AND I THINK IT JUST FITS FOR THIS COMMUNITY, THE STATE OF HAWAII." Members of the UH Manoa Letterwinners Club claim A-D Ben Jay assured them at a January meeting that changing men's basketball, baseball and swim and dive teams to 'Warriors' would not be a hasty move. Next thing they knew ... It was a done deal! After weeks of what they say was no response, the Letterwinners took action Wednesday in the form of a letter, asking Jay not to close the door on the Rainbow legacy... REP. MARK TAKAI: "WE'RE ACTUALLY ASKING HIM TO TAKE A PAUSE, KEEP EVERTHING THE WAY IT IS, AND TO WORK WITH THE GROUPS INVOLVED OVER TIME, AND MAYBE WE'LL COME TO SOME AGREEMENT." Jay refused comment Thursday, but pointed to a letter he wrote Wednesday to disgruntled 'Rainbow' fan Steve Chinen. "In essence, we are not 'making' a decision to adopt the Warrior nickname for our men's sports," wrote Jay, "we are basically 'finishing' the decision made 13 years ago, so that our brand identity is clear and unified." REP. MARK TAKAI: "THE BRAND THAT WE HAVE FOR ATHLETICS FROM MY PERSPECTIVE IS THE 'H' AND THE 'H' IS A VERY STRONG BRAND UNDER WHICH THE WORD HAWAII IS EVERYTHING." ALIKA SMITH: "PEOPLE MAY REVOLT AND NOT GO TO A LOT OF GAMES, AND I THINK THAT'LL BE SAD FOR THE STATE AND THE KIDS." Gov. Neil Abercrombie noted Jay is doing a terrific job as AD, but like many UH fans, the gov is old school. GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE: 49 "FOR ME IT'S GO BOWS SO... AND RAINBOW WARRIORS, THAT'S FINE WITH ME." 55 ANDREW PEREIRA: "FRIDAY EVENING FROM 5 TO 6:30 A 'RALLY FOR RAINBOWS' EVENT WILL BE HELD HERE AT BACHMAN HALL. THE GOAL IS TO URGE UH OFFICIALS NOT TO GO THROUGH WITH THE NAME CHANGE." ALIKA SMITH: "AT THE END OF THE DAY I THINK HE SHOULD RECONSIDER AND AT LEAST LISTEN TO OTHERS." The name change doesn't become official until July 1. Jay has said he also wants uniformity in how UH teams look ... Noting that the school's colors are green and white. Paula... Yunji... back to you.