Hawaii calls off Dec. 7 football game with Temple

Posted: November 14, 2012

TEMPLE TRIED, hard. It had even reached a tentative agreement. But it just didn't end up making financial sense from the University of Hawaii's perspective.

So the Owls will not be playing at Hawaii on Dec. 7 in Honolulu.

The Owls wanted to play a 12th football game this season to make up for the one they lost when they moved back from the Mid-American Conference to the Big East in March.

"It's disappointing," second-year Temple coach Steve Addazio, whose 3-6 team will try to break a four-game losing streak Saturday at Army (2-7), said at his weekly news conference. "It would have been a great opportunity, to play an extra game and get a couple extra weeks of practice. Temple did everything it could. We were set and ready to roll. I guess they have their own issues out there, so they just weren't able to come through on that."

Acting UH athletic director Rockne Freitas had said more than a week ago that some details needed to be worked out. Apprently, they weren't.

"The numbers did not add up," he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Tuesday morning.

Despite concessions by Temple, which reportedly included paying its own expenses and not accepting an appearance fee, Freitas said UH still would have lost money on the deal.

According to the Star-Advertiser, UH usually pays Aloha Stadium a game-maintenance fee of about $100,000. In addition, the school's estimated expenses would add up to around another $80,000.

"Temple University went above and beyond normal scheduling procedures . . . " Temple AD Bill Bradshaw said in a statement. "Unfortunately our negotiations with the University of Hawaii have ended. We felt we had an agreement in place, but in the end its administration was unable to fulfill it due to unforseen circumstances."

Because of an NCAA exception, Hawaii (1-8) is allowed to play 13 games. This is the first time since 2007 that the Rainbows had scheduled only 12. Sources in Hawaii had said all along that the only person out there who was really pushing to play another game was first-year coach Norm Chow.

Freitas said he would not have charged an admission fee to season-ticketholders. He said UH has averaged 3,600 walkup sales for home games this year. But there were only 440 for Saturday's 49-14 loss to Boise State.

"The University of Hawaii is a public university," he said. "I treat the public's money like it's mine. I cross every 't' and dot every 'i.' "

The negotiations, which began in July, finally fell apart for good Monday night.

"I know Bill and our administration were 100 percent behind it," Addazio said. "They were willing to spend the money, whatever it took. This was the best interest of our program, moving forward. It's a shame it didn't come together . . .

"The biggest thing was the extra game, extending our season with a great trip."

Teams need six wins to be bowl-eligible. But if the Owls get to 5-6 - and to do that, they'd also have to beat Syracuse (5-5) on Nov. 23 at the Linc - they're not giving up on the possibility of still getting a bid. The reason? There might not be enough teams to fill the 70 available slots, with Penn State, Ohio State and North Carolina all ineligible because of NCAA sanctions. And maybe 5-6 teams would be looked at differently from 5-7 teams.

Right now, there are 57 eligible teams, and 12 more have five wins. Last year, the NCAA granted 6-7 UCLA an exemption after the Bruins lost in the Pac-12 title game. But a Big East source very familiar with the situation said they weren't sure exactly how this all might play out, since it's unprecedented. Presuming, of course, Temple can win out.

"Things are all still on the table right now," Addazio said. "There's still opportunity out there. But I'm not real worried about that right now. We've got to worry about taking these last two games one at a time."

E-mail: kernm@phillynews.com

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