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Hawaii AD Ben Jay clarifies statement about "football going away"

A few months back we had the sad and all-too-real story of Hawaii launching a crowd-funding effort to raise $10,000 for its enormous travel budget. Thanks to a system where Hawaii pays not only to travel to the mainland dozens of times a year, but also a portion of its competition's bill to visit them on the islands, the school spends an NCAA-leading $5.6 million a year on travel alone.

That's too much to spend for a program that very recently had trouble keeping the lights on. Unfortunately, that isn't a metaphor.

Projecting a budget shortfall ranging from $1.5 million to $3 million, athletics director Ben Jay told a Board of Regents gathering Monday that the possibility of dropping football may soon have to become a sad reality. "There's a very real possibility of football going away," Jay said. Hawaii has faced a budget deficit during 11 of the past 13 years, and even the surprising run to the Sugar Bowl following the 2007 season failed to make a permanent dent in the Warriors' finances. 

Later Monday, Jay clarified his statement.  

"My comments at the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics' meeting were made in order to convey a sense of urgency regarding the need to address our current funding model," Jay said in a statement.

"In no way was I indicating that a decision on program reduction of any sport was under consideration. Rather, I was suggesting that the department's financial situation required that all possible scenarios be reviewed. Hopefully, going forward, there will be a priority placed on discussing the future financial needs of the UH Athletics Department. President David Lassner has expressed his support and we'll call upon our many loyal stakeholders to help us ensure that we remain competitive within the future landscape of intercollegiate athletics. We owe that to our student-athletes and passionate fans."

Here's hoping his second statement is a more accurate depiction of the situation than the first. Though Hawaii has struggled on the field of late, college football would not be the same without Hawaii. 

Video: Eastern Washington's hype video capitalizes on being official start to CFB season

When you're one of the two programs whose game marks the official start of the college football season, you'd better capitalize on the opportunity with a quality hype video because who knows if you'll ever have the honor again.

Thankfully, Eastern Washington (who opens up with Sam Houston State on the 23rd) realizes that and has released this gem. The game, which has preseason #1 hosting preseason #17 will air live on ESPN at 3:30 ET. It should go without saying that this match up is going to be a great way to kick off the college football season.

If you plan to watch the game Saturday (and you know you do), watch the video above. It will both get your blood flowing and prepare your eyes for the river of red that is Eastern Washington's home field advantage.

New Mexico has completely transformed their weight room. Watch the players' reaction

Bob Davie has had a vision for a new weight room since he took the job at New Mexico in November of 2011. Over the weekend, that dream became a reality.

"We ask these players to give us everything that we have. In return, we talk about giving them the very best that we can possibly provide for them." Davie opens up the clip saying.

The updates, and branding are pretty impressive, and the players were absolutely jacked to see the changes.

 

Video of the Day - Don't blink #AuburnFast

Todd Grantham responds to report in Sports Illustrated

Earlier today, Thayer Evans and Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated released a report stating that Bobby Petrino and Todd Grantham were having significant problems working together. Tonight, I called Todd Grantham to ask about his response to hearing of the report. First, have a look at what Sports Illustrated published earlier today:

 

Bobby Petrino says he’s changed. But in reporting a story about the new Louisville coach that is in SI’s college football preview, it appears Petrino is still just as difficult to work and play for. Sources with ties to the Cardinals’ football program and Petrino said there’s significant friction between Petrino and feisty defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. The two have feuded often since Grantham’s hiring in January.

So much that one source insists Petrino would have already gotten rid of Grantham if not for his guaranteed five-year contract that pays him nearly $1 million annually. He came to Louisville after four seasons as Georgia’s defensive coordinator. “He’s stuck with him,” a source said.

There’s also still lingering dissension among players about Petrino’s arrival. Some were so unhappy with Petrino’s frigid, explicit demeanor that they considered leaving early for the NFL’s supplemental draft in June according to one source.

“He’s a mean guy,” said Jamaine Brooks, a former Louisville defensive tackle who left this past spring. “He cusses you out. You’re never doing enough. He’s still Bobby Mother------- Petrino.”

Brooks initially supported Petrino’s hiring, which he quickly came to regret. “The way he came in doing business I didn’t like it,” Brooks said. “The way he treated people. He just wasn’t a good coach.”

I called Grantham tonight and got him in the car on his way home. Grantham said he had heard about the report earlier in the afternoon and "laughed it off". Grantham said there is nothing at all to the report, adding that he "is very happy here, my family is very happy here. Louisville is a great place...we're just getting started here." When I asked him about staff chemistry Grantham said, "...this is probably one of the best camps I've ever been in". 

I asked Grantham if Sports Illustrated, who is "reporting a story about the new Louisville coach", reached out to him either in person or via phone for a comment before posting the report. Grantham, "No one's asked me for a comment or even questioned me on anything like that...I laughed it off and moved on."  

Listen to the full interview with Todd Grantham below. 

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