Hawaii lawmaker to rally donations for UH athletics

Published On: Jan 07 2014 01:50:00 PM HST

State Rep. Mark Takai says he will introduce a bill this legislative session to earmark up to $10 million for the University of Hawaii at Manoa's athletics program.

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For every dollar the community donates, the state would contribute $2 with a cap of $10 million.

Takai says the program has been losing about $2 million per year for the past 10 years.  But, with a new strategic plan by UH Athletics Director Ben Jay, changes to the Bowl Championship Series and new conference alignments, Takai believes UH can find success.

"It's time for us to come together as a community and building on this," said Takai.  "I mean we've had some difficult times over the past eight years where a lot of people have abandoned the athletic department and the athletic program because of a lack of leadership.  This is an opportunity for us to step up to the plate and, if we don't do it, we're gonna get overrun."

Takai says the proposal is designed to encourage more community support.  He says the UH athletics program is so lean, it doesn't even have a letterwinners program, like most schools.  He hopes to raise the money to change that too.


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