UH athletics facing "tough times ahead"UPDATED 6:52 PM HST Aug 18, 2014Video Transcript
seasons.. A department plagued by losing money.. Now the University of hawaii might lose its entire football program Good evening, I'm Yunji de Nies. And I'm Paula Akana. KITV4's Brenton Awa broke this story today... He talked to Athletics Director Ben Jay and joins us live. Brenton... Paula -- Ben Jay met with the board of regents this afternoon to update them on the financial situation of the athletics department. That situation's pretty bleak. Jay tells KITV... Without outside help.. the school can't afford its own football team 1-5 38-45 2243 - BEN JAY "THERE'S A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY OF FOOTBALL GOING AWAY." Not for a game. Not for a season.. The entire U-H football program could get cut. The team, the coaches and everyone else on board. 5447 - BEN JAY "IT'S A SLIM POSSIBILITY BUT IT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT." BUT now people ARE thinking about it .. Because UH Manoa athletics has been a money LOSER 11 of the past 13 years. ...And this year's no different -- where just one month in to it -- the schools projecting a 1-point-five-million dollar deficit -- that could blow up to 3-million-dollars depending on the football teams success. 5303 - JEFFREY PORTNOY "IT CANNOT BE SELF SUFFICIENT, IT NEVER HAS BEEN. ONE OF THE TWO YEARS WE WENT TO THE SUGAR BOWL AND GOT 650K, WERE IN A CONFERENCE THAT'S NOT GOING TO PLAY IN BIG MONEY BOWL GAMES, IT HAS A TERRIBLE TELEVISION CONTRACT. IT'S NOT LIKELY TO GET SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER. Part of the problem... UH hasn't been able to capitalize on promotions and sales at Aloha Stadium -- because those funds go to the state. So instead -- it opened it's own store -- the H-zone -- where all proceeds go back into the program... It was supposed to bring in a- half-a-million dollars... But it's not. The H-zone is competing with the university bookstore ... UH versus UH... And the bookstore money doesn't go to the program. 2026 - BEN JAY "WHAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IS A BARE BONES OPERATING BUDGET THAT IS LIMPING ALONG HAS HURT OUR COMPETITIVEN ESS, HURT OUR ABILITY TO RECRUIT, AND PEOPLE WANT US TO WIN." To do that -- Jay says the program needs help by way of funding ... 5128 - JEFF PORTNOY "AND THOSE FUNDS HAVE TO BE FOUND SOMEWHERE IF THE STATE AND THE COMMUNITY WANTS A DIVISION ONE ATHLETIC PROGRAM INCLUDING FOOTBALL." One more problem Ben Jay brought up at the meeting is a future that could allow college players to get paid... That would come by way of tuition stipends... If that happens -- Jay said that'll cost the school an extra 8-to- 900-thousand dollars per year. As for this year -- Jay wants UH officials to ask the state legislature for 3-million-dollars to help sustain it's program.