Fans react to Rainbow Warriors name change

Athletics director changes Manoa men's team nickname across the board

 UPDATED 7:20 AM HST May 15, 2013
HONONLULU -

University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay announced Tuesday that all of the schools men's athletic teams will be called Rainbow Warriors.

UH Fans, students, and even a player that spoke to KITV4 said they either like the name change, can live with the change or didn't care either way.

Andy Rodrigues owns Andy's Sandwich shop in Manoa and has been cheering "Go Bows" for over three decades.

"We've been here for 36 years, we've always been Rainbow fans, you see it slipped out of my mouth, Rainbow fans," said Rodrigues.

When Rodrigues heard of the potential name change to just Warriors, he feared history might be forgotten.

"As now you repeat only Warriors, soon sometime down the road, Rainbows will be lost," said Rodrigues.

But now its not, perhaps because of the 21 board members from the UH Letterwinners Club who sent a letter to UH Athletics Director Ben Jay, asking him to not remove Rainbow from Warriors name.

Jay insisted for weeks there's no turning back. Now he did just that, Rainbows are back and fans we talked to say that's good.

"Compromise, at least they're keeping some of the history in the name, that's what we're known for so I think its good," said Rae Saiki, a Mililani Resident.

"When they announced that they wanted it to be just Warriors," said reporter.

"I didn't like that at all," said Eleanor Bonner, a UH fan.

Meanwhile on the University of Hawaii Athletics Facebook Page, there still a few people unhappy with the decision. One person says, "Mistake... Big Mistake..."

While another says, "Great way to recruit top athletes... Don't know how many that want to be Rainbows."

But Josh Gist, a UH football player seems to think otherwise.  He said he and some of his teammates favor the addition of the Rainbow to the Warriors name because it represents history and also thinks one name will create unity.

"I think we all know we still play for Hawaii, I think the name is just like the ad is just trying to bring more clarity to the teams," said Gist.

UH Athletics Director Ben Jay said that there was never any concession from either side or different groups as to which name was the right name.  He feels that there really is no right or wrong answer to that.

Click here to vote in our online poll on the name change.

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