By Dave Reardon
After yesterday's loss to UC Irvine in the Big West tournament, the Fire Gib Arnold crowd is out in force, as expected. I certainly agree that the Rainbow Warriors weren't ready to play Thursday, and a 44-22 halftime deficit is horrendous and too much to come back from.
But this team, despite its backcourt deficiencies, did finish with a winning season and a slight improvement from last year (some will say that's offset by an easier schedule). I'm still a critic of Arnold for the massive offseason turnover of players who still had eligibility remaining — mainly because those were players he recruited.
It's reasonable to expect better than 17-14 in a coach's third season, and better than winning just two of the last seven games. But it's not a firing offense, yet, and as distasteful as some will find this, Arnold should probably get an extension so he is not hampered in recruiting.
>> USC center Abe Markowitz, a former Punahou standout, has been approved for a sixth year of football eligibility by the NCAA due to medical hardship.
But Markowitz, a former walk-on who climbed onto the two-deep at center and guard and earned a scholarship, won't return to the Trojans because his scholarship there won't be renewed for a sixth year.
He's eligible to transfer to other schools, including UH.
>> I enjoyed meeting president Pomai Patton and vice president Ralph Nakamoto of the UH softball team's booster club before yesterday's game. They and the rest of the booster club, including vice president Kevin Kacatin and secretary Lauren Rodrigues do a tremendous job supporting the program.
"These kids are blue-collar kids," Patton said. "We ask them if they want a fancy banquet and they tell us they want a barbecue. There are no million-dollar contracts waiting for them. They play for the love of the game."
This year, the Rainbow Wahine are holding a fundraiser banquet. It will be May 5 at the Treetops Restaurant in Manoa. There will be a silent auction with items possibly including some of the home run record-setting bats from the 2010 College World Series season.
For more information contact Kevin Kacatin at (808) 343-0661 or firstname.lastname@example.org by email.