Ben Jay at the QB Club

March 18th, 2013
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A lot of what the new University of Hawaii athletic director said at the Honolulu Quarterback Club today was covered in this column on March 10.

Here are some of the other highlights of what he said at and after the QB Club meeting:

*When asked about the $11-million budget deficit, Jay said, "A lot of that deficit is accounting. We're working with the university on that. A lot of it is a paper deficit."

It's no secret that the athletic department doesn't get credit for a lot of revenue it generates, such as concessions, parking and apparel. There is also an issue on the other side of the equation, expenses.

Jay said a sizable savings would be generated if UH debited the department the lower in-state scholarship tuition rate for all student athletes, including those from the mainland.

*The renovation of Klum Gym into an athletic performance center (weight and cardio training, athletic trainers, etc.) and basketball and volleyball practice facility is near the top of Jay's list of 10 facility improvements he has identified.

*He reiterated wanting to move soccer games to campus instead of playing them at Waipio, and also mentioned adding a golf short-game facility on campus.

*Regarding donations, Jay said, "We have not done a great job of going after big gifts," and added he has identified untapped potential large donors. He said he is developing a plan to show potential donors exactly how their money would be used.

*On Aloha Stadium, he said, "We are just a renter. But there are things we need to do to enhance the experience."

Part of that includes closing parts of the stadium for games that are not going to draw close to the facility's 50,000-seat capacity. "We need to cut expenses. ... We're going to start moving people into sections where it looks good, especially on TV."

*Jay mentioned on a couple of occasions the importance of feeding the student-athletes better quality, more nutritious food. To that end, he is working to raise their road per diem to the allowable maximum of the NCAA, which is around $45.

He is also trying to improve the training table meals.

*Jay said deciding to accept a bid for the CollegeInsiders.com Invitational was to give the men's basketball team a chance at "redemption" after it played poorly and lost to UC Irvine in the first round of the Big West Tournament last week.

He said the financial goal for the buy-in tournament is to break even.

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