Temple-Hawaii football game appears to be set

Posted: November 02, 2012

TEMPLE ATHLETIC director Bill Bradshaw had cautioned that it wasn't over. It looks like he might be right.

One day after the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that it "appeared" that the proposed football game between Temple and Hawaii was "dead," interim UH AD Rockne Freitas acknowledged Thursday that there's now an "agreement in principle" for the teams to meet Dec. 7 in Aloha Stadium, which isn't that far from Pearl Harbor.

"The devil's in the details," Freitas said. "There's some that still have to be ironed out."

Reached Thursday night, Bradshaw said he couldn't comment yet.

The original target date was Dec. 8, but there were too many logistical issues to make it work that day at Aloha Stadium. So this figures to be a night game instead, which means it could start after midnight in Philadelphia.

Temple has been looking to add a 12th game to its schedule since it lost one in March when it moved from the Mid-American Conference back to the Big East and BCS status. The Owls, who are 3-4 as they head to No. 12 Louisville (8-0) on Saturday, need six wins to be bowl-eligible. This would seem to give them more of a chance, since the Rainbows are 1-6 under first-year coach Norm Chow. The Owls also have games left with Cincinnati (5-2) at home, at Army (1-7) and with Syracuse (4-4) at home on Nov. 24.

At the very least, this would give second-year coach Steve Addazio another 2 weeks of practice with his young squad. At most, it could help the Owls into the postseason for the third time in 4 years.

Sources in Hawaii said that Temple, not surprisingly, went back to UH and made a better offer that made it hard to turn down, one that apparently included undisclosed financial concessions, which sources have termed considerable. Those people said Bradshaw and Freitas spoke again on Thursday. Temple originally contacted UH in July.

"This isn't a normal situation," said one person familiar with the landscape. "Hawaii usually doesn't have the leverage. [Its athletic department] needs money."

Several people have confirmed that the only person out there pushing for the game was Chow, whose team was scheduled to finish Dec. 2 at home against South Alabama.

Hawaii has a special NCAA exemption to play a 13th game. This was the first year since 2007 that it only had scheduled 12.

The Owls played in Hawaii once before. On Nov. 3, 1979, a Temple team that would finish 10-2 beat the Rainbows (who went 6-5), 34-31, in front of 33,700.

Contact Mike Kern at kernm@phillynews.com.

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