The Hawaii athletics department brain trust has an interesting offer sitting on their desks right now. Hoping to fill its second bye week on short notice, Colorado has offered the Warriors a $600,000 check to come to Boulder for a game on October 19.
Mother Nature put the Buffaloes in a bind last week, as a historic and dangerous downpour forced the indefinite postponement of their scheduled home game with Fresno State. The two could meet back up on December 7, but playing a non-conference game that late in the season is unattractive for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the Bulldogs have a very real chance of being preoccupied that date with the Mountain West title game.
In lieu of waiting around for a possible 12th game, the Buffaloes have gone proactive in hopes of meeting their quota of seven home games.
Needless to say, it’s an interesting offer for Hawaii. The Warriors visit UNLV on October 12 and then aren’t scheduled to play again until an October 27 home date with Colorado State. Saying yes would mean pushing its players through 13 regular season games and no bye weeks left on the schedule, with the outside chance of playing up to 15 games should the team reach the MWC title game and a bowl, on top of its already rigorous travel schedule. It would mean flying to the mainland seven times in a 12-week span from September 7 to November 23.
Saying no, on the other hand, has a cost attached to it as well. The athletics department had a $3 million budget shortfall last year, and has operated at a deficit in 10 of the past 12 years. The school could pay Norm Chow’s entire salary with what is essentially free money.
If you’re Chow or Hawaii athletics director Ben Jay, what do you do? If if were your team, would you take a $600,000 check for a game 31 days from now, and no bye week for the final two and a half months of the season? If not, what’s your price?
A decision is expected out of Honolulu by the end of the day.