Think About It: Battlin’ Matlin - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

April 6, 2015

Think About It: Battlin’ Matlin

The University of Hawaii-Manoa recently made its choice for Athletics Director in Dave Matlin, who officially starts work in three-weeks. I speak from personal and subjective experience when I say that I think Dave is an excellent choice. I've worked with Dave on many occasions at UH and with the Hawaii Bowl and Diamondhead Classic over the past two decades. He has proven to be a good leader, a good listener, a good learner, and his heart is right where you want it to be in the efforts to create an athletics program that serves our student-athletes, the university, the state and all of the various constituencies here who care so passionately about the program.

But Dave is not a miracle worker, not yet anyway, and he can't do this alone. He needs the assistance of those above and beneath him. He needs the help of the business community and government leaders. He needs to know who he's working for, as the current chancellor at UH-Manoa has the term "interim" in front of his name. He needs to know what the ground rules and immediate expectations are. And if that includes keeping all the current procedures and policies in place, then let's get the idea of a break-even program off the table right away. It hasn't happened but once or twice in the past 14-years, and I just don't see a Sugar Bowl miracle in the near term.

For UH to compete as best it can in the ever-changing Division I sports landscape, issues need to be resolved about funding, both internally and externally, Aloha Stadium's future, coaches coming and going, NCAA sanctions and ramifications, fans being brought back, sustained program success, etc. This will all take a bit of time, communication, massaging, and working with decision-makers and influencers who need to make sure they are looking out for the best interests, as Dave will, of UH and its athletic department. If long-avoided revenue and expense issues and a few fires du jour can be handled in year one of the Matlin regime, then we should all feel positive about the direction in which the UH-Manoa athletics department is headed. Think about it… 

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