Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay said there is a possibility that the school may have to drop football because of its $2.1 million budget deficit last fiscal year.
Jay reportedly made those comments at a Board of Regents meeting discussing the school’s financial future. Jay said the athletic budget's deficit will be at least $1.5 million this year and could reach as much as $3 million.
“I'm asking the state, I said, can you imagine the state without Division I football? There's a very real possibility of football going away,” Jay said, according to KITV. "We're going to have to generate more revenue. There's no doubt about that.”
Jay quickly backed off of those comments and said that no sport is under consideration to be cut, but admitted there are tough times ahead.
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"In no way was I indicating that a decision on program reduction of any sport was under consideration," Jay said in a statement released by the school. "Rather, I was suggesting that the department's financial situation required that all possible scenarios be reviewed."
Hawaii is not part of the Power Five Conferences that generate the most money in college sports. The Rainbow Warriors are members of the Mountain West Conference in football and the Big West in the other 20 sports the school competes in. The football team went 1-11 (0-8 MWC) last season.
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