Statement by UH Manoa Chancellor Hinshaw on Sugar Bowl listUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
I directed that the UH Mānoa travel list and expenses for the 2008 Allstate Sugar Bowl be released on Friday (May 23), consistent with our intention to be as open and transparent as possible. We have not yet received the Sugar Bowl proceeds from the WAC, nor have we paid all the vendors, so these revenues and expenditures are still draft until that happens.
There is value in remembering that the work necessary for UH Mānoa to participate in our first BCS Bowl was enormous, but well worth the effort. This involved transporting about 550 players, coaches, band, cheering squad, Rainbow Dancers, support staff, and other members of the UHM ʻohana, and nearly 5 tons of equipment over 4,000 miles on 3 planes during the holidays, as well as arranging for practices, lodging, feeding, ground transportation, security, and celebrations for our supporters and fans.
The time frame for accomplishing this was very short -- it wasn‘t until the closing seconds of our December 1st game against Washington that an undefeated regular season was assured. Between the receipt of our bid to the Sugar Bowl on December 2nd until our team‘s departure on Christmas Day, we had about three weeks to arrange this event — and a momentous task it was. The UH Manoa employees that made this happen were tremendously dedicated and worked extremely hard throughout their holidays to make this dream a reality for our student athletes, university and state.--- and, afterwards, they returned to mountains of their regular work that had to wait during the Sugar Bowl time. I respect their efforts and believe we all owe them a big mahalo.
This was our first time orchestrating an event at this level, so there was much to learn, but the goal is to have many such opportunities in the future. When the Sugar Bowl regulations were made available to us, we were required to make decisions quickly about what needed to get done, who was needed to do the work, how we would go, and how to maximize the opportunity for the University. We made these decisions knowing that, because of our distance, we would have to be leaner than other schools to conserve the resources that the Sugar Bowl could provide to our program. We made these decisions based on extensive conversations with our fellow WAC school Boise State on their travel to the Fiesta Bowl, along with our own knowledge of other schools‘ policies and our experiences with the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
After returning from the Sugar Bowl, our employees had to accumulate and check all of the information about the costs, a sizeable undertaking while doing their normal jobs. As that was being completed, we did alert our employees, and their unions, that, to comply with the 92F request, we would be releasing the names of all employees whose expenses were paid with any Bowl proceeds. That was done to ensure they were fully aware of any and all costs and also out of respect for people‘s concern about being subjected to publicity -- a concern justified by the attention this has received.
The experience of going to the Sugar Bowl was a thrill for the whole State, demonstrated the power of Warrior Football and gave us an opportunity to share the great aloha of the State of Hawaii and UH Mānoa. Our goal is to participate regularly in BCS bowl trips and, as that happens, we will learn and become even more proficient, similar to schools like Georgia that plan for and make such bowls nearly every year. This was a great first run. We are exceptionally grateful to those who made the trip with us and, with the continued support of the state, we hope we can all make the trip again real soon. Mahalo to all of the folks that made this great experience possible.