Saturday, January 5, 2008

Rep. Takai addresses UH Football and Coach June Jones

Rep. K. Mark Takai (District 34-Aiea/Pearl City) is very concerned about the future of UH Football and Coach June Jones. After attending the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, he wrote a letter to the University of Hawaii President and Chancellor. This is what he has to say about UH issues:

On January 2, 2008, I wrote a letter to UH President David McClain and UH-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw urging them to get involved in the negotiations to keep Coach June Jones at the helm of the UH Warrior Football Team. This issue is too important to Hawaii, and I just hope that it's not too late. The Honolulu Advertiser reported that there have been no discussions or proposal between Leigh Steinberg and the University. We must make every effort to keep Coach Jones on board.

This amazing season has showed Hawaii how far Coach Jones has brought the football program -- without a doubt, this year is only the beginning of greatness. The football program has a come a long way, but there are still miles to traverse and it would be a shame to not complete them with Coach Jones in the lead.

I also touched on issues regarding repairs and maintenance at the University of Hawaii. The legislature has provided the university with more than $40 million in repair funds this past year. However, we have not specified where this money is to be spent. In the past, the Legislature would line item these repair projects. This year, I’m working with my legislative colleagues to line-item $25 million in construction funds to renovate Cooke Field, the coaches’ offices, and the locker room and training room facilities.

What’s the replacement cost of losing Coach Jones? In mere football terms, the costs are considerable, but for the University and for the entire State of Hawaii, it’s priceless. Are we going to take a quantum leap into the University’s second century? Or are we going to falter and sputter and not take advantage of this unique opportunity?

I urge everyone concerned about the fate of the UH Warrior Nation and the Coach Jones situation to call David McClain at (808) 956-8207 or email him at david.mcclain@hawaii.edu AND to call Virginia Hinshaw at (808) 956-7651 or email her at virginia.hinshaw@hawaii.edu.


Mahalo, K. Mark Takai

You can download a PDF file of Rep. Takai's letter HERE.

51 comments:

Matto said...

Thank you, Mr. Takai - you hit all points precisely on the head.

I hope others follow your lead and do what it takes to keep Coach Jones here.

SteveM said...

Great observations and insight, Rep. Takai!

I hope it can help overcome the bureaucratic inertia and lethargy that seems to have afflicted the Manoa campus administrators and garner some kokua toward June Jone's effforts.

Anonymous said...

Way to represent the people of Hawaii (even though word on the street is that you were responsible for and in the "marshmellow man" mascot). =) Much aloha, and well said.

al said...

Rep. Takai,

Thank you for being an advocate of what is right and obivious.

I hope that other politicians will be involved in this campaign as well.

The successes of the football program this year was good for the State of Hawaii period. I am sure that the national exposure created by our arrival in the top ten this year has helped not only the University of Hawaii's future enrollment but has given a boost to our state's economy.

I have said this before, the football team's exposure nationally has been our best commercial for the entire state of Hawaii.

Thank you for your sincere efforts, please keep working hard to have your colleagues get equally involved.

kapaafire said...

Rep. Takai,

Thank you for having the integrity and initiative to bring forward the concerns surrounding the UH Athletic Program.

As UH graduates, my wife and I are ashamed of how the University has handled this situation. Do to the mismanagement of this situation,we have decided to discontinue our yearly donation to the General Fund until these matters are resolved.

On behalf of my family, we appreciate your efforts.

Thank you

LizKauai said...

The momentum and Statewide unity created by the UH Warrior football team is a positive phenomenon in a largely bad-news world.

Please do everything you can to see that what took nine years to build is not destroyed in a day.

Coach Jones is special to all of us and we do not want to lose him.

Anonymous said...

If Herman Frazier had any honor or integrity, he would step aside as an impediment to re-signing June Jones. If Manoa Chancellor Hinshaw and System President McClain had any vision, they would see what the Football program under June Jones' stewardship means to the University and the State. If they lack that basic understanding, then perhaps they do not belong in the positions they occupy.

It is time (perhaps even past the time) when the State Legislature needs to intervene, as the authority who funds the University of Hawai'i, and secure the continued employment of June Jones--and to remind the UH Administration that ultimately, like the legislators, they work for the people of the state...said constituency having spoken loudly and clearly as to where they stand on this issue.

Lindsey Nip said...

Coach Jones has done what no other coach couldn't do, which was make the biggest program turnaround in history in 1999. His success throughout the years has been nothing but great to the state and I feel that he was recognized/respected for this. All the things he asked for didnt come through for him, and this is our last chance to show that as a state that we care and respect what June has done, and we must follow up with our promises that had been initially been made in his contract.

PHI said...

Rep Takai,

When you had those hearings in May regarding UH Athletics I thought - Why is he poking his nose into UH Athletics?

Now I have a new thought - THANK YOU FOR GETTING INVOLVED! THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP ON THIS HUGE ISSUE. Frazier's handling of this issue is 10x worse than any of his other incompetence and miscalculation!

He needs to go and McClain needs to get involved. Please send a letter to the Governor also. Let's get her involved.

I Believe!!!!

uhfootballgirl said...

Thank you Rep. Takai! Is there anything else we can do?? I will write and call the information you left for us!!! Please continue to do all you can to keep JJ!!! Can you write a personal e-mail to JJ and let him know of your plans with delegating money towards repairing the football dept? His e-mail address is junej@hawaii.edu

Anyone else with a positive comment can send JJ an e-mail too!!!

Concearned Voter said...

How can a football season of so much promise end like this. Coach Jones took us to where our program could only dream of just a few short years ago. The exposure for the State on a national stage was fantastic to see and made us all proud. I really believed that even with the loss of the game that we had arrived and were destined for even greater seasons to come. But hope and promise are fading fast in this crisis. You, our elected offical's are the people we depend on in these critical situations. Please, don't let us down and help us keep Coach Jones!

Anonymous said...

Although it may be too late to get Coach Jones back, it is not too late to salvage our athletic programs. Accountability is the issue, and you have identified who that person is, but yet you have not hinted at what should be done (hint...it is what everyone has been saying for over a year). I applaud you for being the first one from the government to point out the problem. I hope others will follow suit and demand accountability!

Parker said...

Rep. K. Mark Takai:

Thank you for taking a public interest in this important matter. As a local graduate student at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and a long time supporter of UH Athletics. I am deeply concerned and downright ashamed with the decisions and management of the UH Athletic Department as a whole. My family has heavily supported and led numerous booster clubs, attended countless games and matches.

This is more than just a matter of sports and money, UH is Hawaii's premier campus and a source of pride for not only students and alumni but the state as well. When 15,000+ people showed up to New Orleans, we showed up as a school AND a state. It was the pride and respect we had for the team. It is apparent that the administration does not have that same respect.

I cannot sit idle and let this go unnoticed, or worse, have this string of tragic events continue.

It is apparent that the Athletic Departments needs help from the UH leaders and the state government. As K. Mark Takai stated, this is a "unique opportunity" not only to keep June Jones as the Head Coach to give the other coaches a fighting chance in competing with other universities towards excellence. It is a "unique opportunity" for you to define the future of UH Athletics.

If UH strives for excellence, then why does the Athletic Director give it the cold shoulder?

Action and Answers!

Pomai said...

Rep. K. Mark Takai
I respectfully ask you to personally call June Jones in Texas right now and let him know that if he comes back the things he wants to see done with the facilities will in fact get done.

lupchong said...

Rep. Takai,

Mahalo for stepping up and taking the lead on this issue. As one of those who believe in education as well as one who participated in and now follows athletics I know how important they are to the overall experience a student has while attending school.

As a taxpayer and alumni I urge you to marshal the resources to make substantive change to improve the AD and keep Coach Jones.

Mahalo

scott said...

I think it's great that repairs to athletic facilities will be completed. However, how about the educational facilities of the university? Fires starting floods, old, and damaged buildings that need to be replaced. It's sad that the disrepair of the university is a problem, and it is even more frustrating to see educational needs take a backseat to athletics.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rep. Takai for getting involved. Indeed its a very sad time for this state (in my opinion). My question is "Where's the $4.2mil?". Whose hands did it end up in? I'm a native hawaiian, I hear people talk about how corrupt this state is...should I start to believe them?

Again, I thank you for stepping up and trying to do something.

RBWarrior said...

Rep. Takai:

I very much appreciate your support of UH athletics and UH football.

I know you and many of your colleagues in the past have done much for UH...

My question is: Are your colleagues ready to support refurbishing, rebuilding and repairing the UH athletic facitites -- even to the point of line item appropriations (since the R & M funds and CIP funds you have sent in the past few years to UH have not "trickled" down to lower campus???)

If your colleagues ARE willing to support this, I think it would be VERY prident for them to speak up RIGHT NOW, so June knows the majority of the Legislature supports upgrading the facilities.

If they spoke up TODAY on tv, radio, newspaper -- or even on the blog sites, it just might help keep June Jones from leaving -- if he hasn't already totally made up his mind...

It's just a shame that your voice is the only one I hear coming from the Legislature -- but I'm thankful at least you speak up!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for always stepping up on the issues of UH Athletics. This football season shows how important UH sports can be for the entire state. Not just for entertainment, but for state pride, and marketing of Hawaii. Last time I checked, we were a tourism based economy, and I don't think we can measure the amount of exposure we have gotten from this football season. It's unfortunate that more state leaders cannot see this (or unwilling to stick their necks out there) and get behind the program.
Thank you again for being the one leading the way. I only hope others follow.

d1shima said...

Rep. Takai,
Your letter last week inspired me to do the same the next day. I hope your continued support for a positive resolution inspires others at the Capitol to take action as well.

Keep up the pressure.

Thank you.

Hank said...

Rep Takai,

Mahalo for your attention and energy in this matter. I wish there were more of our leaders willing to step up and take the initiative in addressing the issue at hand.

Are any of our other political leaders willing to step up? Several hundred thousand UH fans are concerned about this issue...is that worth something?

Aloha,

Hank

WarriorFanTyler said...

JJ is worth more to the state and its people than most people realize. This season is proof to that fact...everybody knew about the Warriors this year and it was a common day topic of conversation. Best of wishes to him in all of his endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rep. Takai. We obviously really do need the state to help here. It's sad that it came to this. We need JJ to stay. He is capable of and has generated the funds needed to inprove the athletic dept.. HF obvioulsly has not been doing his job. What will it take to get rid of him?

Anonymous said...

Linda Lingle where are you??? People all over the sports forums all want to know. What are you doing? THIS is your legacy!!

Hawaii needs your leadership more than ever!

I repeat again, Linda Lingle, where are you?

Anonymous said...

June and his program are one of the few bright lights at UH. Yes there are other needs, other buildings that need help badly, but let's make sure this success doesn't wither and then go on to nurture other bright spots. UH has spent decases trying to treat everyone equally and look where it has gotten them.

Jones has indicated that if he gets the resources for his facilities he will stay. If you have ever been in Dallas, you'll know he doesn't want to trade our weather for theirs, but we have to step up.

UH has to deliver on football, then we have to keep going and deliver on other bright spots,but it all starts here with keeping Jones.

If we lose him, the Leg needs to take a really close look at why the negotiations were so pitifully mishandled and what if any priorities the University actually has.

Anonymous said...

Lingle probably hopes Jones leaves, then will cut the UH budget by the salary savings and then give everybody a tax rebate. Forget those republicans.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Takai,

Thank you.

How can a man with so much mana within the islands be left to just walk away. The lack of concern is alarming and reflects poorly on the desires for a better tomorrow.

Appreciate your efforts in trying to resolve before the day we dread arrives.

vr,
Steve

Lopaka said...

Rep. Takai,

Thank you for getting the ball rolling and I truly hope that Coach Jones will stay.

If there is anything else we can do to help convince Coach Jones to stay, just let us know.

Princess said...

The autonomy up UH needs to be looked at. The administration seems to lack the vision needed.

Duke became a household name with the exposure that basketball team garnered. Since then their enrollment has shot through the roof.

We had a opportunity with Coach Jones to do just that, but we chased him out of town. Sad

Da Punchbowl Kid said...

Aloha Rep. Takai,
Thanks once again for demonstrating the vision and leadership so desperately needed in this matter. Your earnest efforts may yet help to keep JJ here. Suggestion: Why don't you see if you can hold a press conference to detail your intentions regarding the $25 million. This info is precisely what JJ needs to see to encourage him to stay. Maybe you should head down to the autograph session and perhaps you could speak to the news media there. There is likely going to be a rally supporting JJ as well. Your message to the people of Hawaii as always is an excellent one, I hope you will consider these ideas in order to get it out to the people of Hawaii and to JJ as well. Mahalo once more, Rep. Takai

Kalamaku said...

This past season clearly demonstrated what a successful football program means to the citizens of Hawaii as well as our economy. The nearly 4 months of near constant press is priceless for our tourism industry! I admit, I am a lifelong fan of the Warriors, I am also an alum of Manoa. While the entire system is in dire need of improvements, supporting the football program is one way that we can help the entire economy, not to mention enrollment etc.

What I find totally unacceptable is that Herman Frazier showed complete disrespect for June Jones by taking it for granted that he would not leave. Is that how you repay a man who literally has shed blood sweat and tears for the program and our state? THREE WEEKS he knew that SMU was going to interview JJ and nothing, NOTHING happened on his end. No offer, no discussions, nothing. And when an offer was made, NO CONSIDERATION for any of the issues JJ had constantly voiced his concern for, just cash. Maybe in Herman Frazier's world $$ is all that matters, but not in ours and not in June Jones'. If UH is willing to offer nearly 2 million now, and we all know JJ is not in this for the cash, why not give June his 1.2 and then give the assistants a pool of 300,000 and the remander, 3-500,000 go toward recruiting and improvements on a yearly basis? The point here is, let us not pass up an opportunity to improve our football program, the University and our state. Let us pull out every stop to keep June and then we can address, and we must address, the issues of facilities and redtape. It is the pono thing to do, and we all know this, well apparently not all. If June Jones does leave, there are many to blame, starting with Herman Frazier, but the backlash will be much greater than that. Just some thoughts from a life long fan of the Warriors, an alum of UH, a native son born and raised, and a passionate voter. Mahalo

Da Kahuna said...

I have been following UH football since i was 5 yrs old and this past season was unprecedented not only for the accomplishments that the team achieved but also the sense of community that that was built throughout the state to support the teams.

Since attending the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans I have returned to my home in Northern California. I have seen numerous people at the San Francisco airport and on the streets of Oakland wearing UH Warrior gear. The support has reached the mainland and the UH fan base seems to be expanding...due to his negligence Atheltic Director Frazier has negatively impacted not only the athletic aspect of his job, but also the cultural aspect, in the following days we will see how strong the support is by all the people of Hawaii, however we might be too late. Thank you Rep. Takai and hopefully we can remedy this problem immediately.

Pua (debbie) said...

Rep. Takai,

Thank you for being publicly vocal in your fervent desire to keep Coach Jones in Hawaii. But we also need the support of your colleagues. It is inconceivable that UH and the State will simply allow Coach to leave without a battle.

Everyone is aware of the deplorable nature of UH athletic facilities and the AD lack of ability to improve them. Now it will be fodder for ESPN and the nation to behold. The State of Hawaii will fall from the shining gem of the Pacific to the bottom of the WAC.

There must be something more we can do!

Mahalo again for your support.

mainlandkamaaina said...

Rep. Takai, thank you, once again, for taking the initiative and leadership role on this crucial issue.

Gov. Lingle, where are you?
Keeping one of Hawaii's biggest asset (Coach Jones) in Hawaii should be one of your highest priorities as Governor.

You have been quick to jump to the Superferry's defense in calling an emergency legislative session. The importance of the Superferry to Hawaii is debatable in that opposing sides each have valid arguments for their cause.

There is no debate on the importance of June Jones to not only the football team, and the university, but also the whole state of Hawaii.

It is clear that President David McClain and Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw are not "in touch" with the pulse of the people as (up until only recently) they had continued to allow an incompetent athletic director to handle this extremely important negotiation.
And, as has been his modus operandi, the athletic director has (once again) arrogantly miscalculated and procrastinated Coach Jones' contract situation to the point where we have now appeared to have lost him to SMU!!!

Gov. Lingle, you have personally witnessed the impact that Coach Jones and the football team has had in galvanizing *THE WHOLE STATE* this year.
Do not make the same mistake as Pres. McClain and Chancellor Hinshaw and under-estimate the impact and *CONSEQUENCE* of losing Coach Jones will have on the whole state of Hawaii.

Gov. Lingle, get involved NOW!!!
Keep Coach Jones in Hawaii!!

Anonymous said...

I respect what your trying to do hopefully its not too late

Anonymous said...

Rep. Takai,

I'm familiar with your UH background and your love for UH athletics. The UH is very fortunate to have you as a supporter.

This whole debacle concerning coach Jones is very disheartening. I agree with many other UH supporters that Herman Frazier's departure, as well as McClain's, is long overdue. I also believe that during the next legislative session, the question of autonomy for UH should be re-visited. Its a policy that apparently is not working.

Please continue your oversight of the UH administration knowing that your efforts are well appreciated.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I would like to give our approval to the Governor, the legislature, the Chancellor, the President, the Board of Regents,the AD and anyone else in power permission to ACCEPT and PROMISE Coach Jones his "wish list" accomplished within his new contract tenure for the sake of a better University and State. If we want to rise above the reputation we have of being MEDIOCRE, then we MUST do this for the future of our children and the state. WE are all connected whether we want to be or not!!!

Anonymous said...

Please do anything in your power to keep JJ in Hawaii. We NEED him here. He has done wonders for the state of Hawaii. What would we do without him?

Anonymous said...

Who are you kidding Mr. Takai? Come off as so worldly and the savior. IF you were really concerned you and your colleagues in the do nothing legislature would let go the purse strings more and not have coach June Jones have to account for the $1 he spends on a pencil. Give me a break.

The O's said...

Rep Takai,

Where is our Governor on the effort? Noticed West Virginia the past 2 years had their Governor's full support and involvement for their head coach. But yet I've have not heard here yet from the Honorable Governor Lingle.

May we be able to continue the path that Mr . Junes has started us on. And there's one person who can and will do such and he's still our coach as of today.

The nation looks upon our actions and may we resolve the issues for better horizons tomorrow. Please someone rescue the current failed effort before we forever have to answer why did we allow it to happen.

Sign June Jones and demonstrate our respect for his support concerns today.

Peace and God Bless,
The O's

Anonymous said...

Coach Jones said "MONEY IS NOT THE ISSUE". The Coach said the UH board "doesn't get it". All June Jones is asking for are taking care of his coaching staff, improving the facilites for the players and money to recruit. I'll bet my life that if UH paid June the same salary he's getting now but improved all that he asked and took care of his coaching staff, he would have stayed. That is all that the great man is requesting. He took that SMU job because he just got tired of fighting UH's system. Life shouldn't be so hard for someone who brought so much unity to our State. June Jones loves our Islands more than some of our native people do. How much more can a State ask for from someone who was not born here? Not to mention that this has made my relationship with my husband closer since I never watched football until this season. Now we watch it together. Just another fact on how June Jones impacted people's lives.

Anonymous said...

It is disappointing University of Hawaii administration did not do everything they could to support Warrior Football because June Jones is a good man, excellent coach and has done so much for the State of Hawaii. June did not want more money for himself but wanted his assistant coaches to have raises and wanted the University of Hawaii to improve facilities however he got no support.

I'm sure we the people of Hawaii are willing to donate monies that could be used to support the Football program and improve facilities and other areas at UH. The expose Hawaii has gotten from ESPN on the mainland has been a boost to the local economy for the State not to mention businesses making money from traveling to New Orleans and other areas. Warrior Football is on a roll an it's affects every aspect of businesses in Hawaii.

Is it to late? Can the people of Hawaii do anything to help keep June Jones here. He build this Warrior Nation and I'm sure he can do so much more at UH.

Rep. TAKAI thank you for your efforts, what else can we do besides e-mailing or calling University of Hawaii President McClain and Chancellor Hinshaw. Is Governor Linda Lingle involved?

If June Jones does leave I hope this will be a wake up call for the University of Hawaii and our Legislators.

Rep. K. Mark Takai said...

Warrior Nation Faithful:

I still believe!

I'm so glad that President David McClain is now leading the negotiations for UH. That is the leader that I know him to be. I'm also glad to hear that Governor Linda Lingle also contacted Coach Jones and asked him to stay. Governor Lingle's involvement is much apprecaited. This situation is much more than xs and os. It's about how Hawaii responds to crisis.

I wrote an email to Coach Jones last night. Here's what I said:
"Before you make this decision, I just wanted you to know that I'm confident that the Legislature will take back the control of the funding of repairs and maintenance projects. It's frustrating for me to know that we provide enough money for UH to decide to fund repairs in lower campus. Two weeks ago I asked UH again about the repairs funds and I'm still awaiting word whether any of the $40 million will be spent on lower campus facilities. Nevertheless, you have my commitment to re-direct funds to lower campus facilities over the next few years to address some of the deplorable conditions that we have spoken about."

I ended with:
"Anyway, God is good. . . and you have been good. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate everything you've done and want you to know how much you mean to believers in Christ. SMU is a wonderful school. I don't blame you for considering their offer. But, I really hope that you consider staying at UH. Wherever God leads you to . . . and whatever you decide, please know that you have my total support."

People are asking what more can be done . . . I think that a great showing tomorrow morning (January 7) at the corner of Dole Street and University Avenue will do much to keep the attention focused on keeping Coach Jones.

I agree that the message needs to be positive. Focus needs to be on showing Coach Jones how much we care about him and about how much we appreciate everything he's done for the University and for our entire state.

Say a good prayer for Coach Jones tonight. He's under considerable pressure and he needs a clear and focused mind to make such an important decision.

I still believe! And I'm stil praying -- plenty.

Mahalo, K. Mark Takai

The O's said...

Rep Takai,

Thank you, President David McClain, and Governor Linda Lingle for keeping us all believing.

Our prayers always with you, Coach Jones and all on this great team who understand the importance of Coach Jones to our future.

Coach Jones will follow his heart in his decision. He truly knows the power of his mana and its positive influences here but this decision is much more complicated and personal.

We're united and positive as one.

Peace & God Bless,
Steve O

Anonymous said...

Enough finger pointing. JUST DO IT. I hope we are not here one year from now crying about what should have been done and trying to find someone to blame. We are all to blame for doing nothing and cleaning up this mess. That must change NOW. Each time I hit a pothole, I wonder where any of the money goes. Really, we have a couple of guys with shovels following a dump truck and dropping asphalt into gigantic holes. How long will we follow this plan until someone figures out we should try something else? Another promise, another dollar wasted. Next thing I'll hear is change is coming, so we should belive this garbage. Tell it to a politician, they are the only ones listening. Wait until it's broken before we develop a maintence plan. BRILLIANT!

Melvin said...

Since Governor Lingle is involved, I wish she would release funds to built a new sports facility for the University of Hawaii.

Funds for repair and maintenance is putting "band aid" over a bad wound that will never heal. Build a new on Mark

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rep Takai. I hope to see you at the rally tommorrow in front of Bachman Hall at 11:00am in show of support for keeping coach Jones.

Anonymous said...

Rep. Takai

Thanks for having the moral courage to step up and do something from your position. I am glad to see you work to direct the funds needed to help the UH lower campus challenges with facilities. If we can help support you with your colleagues please let us know who to contact. Let's get this done.

Anonymous said...

The entire nation heard about the deplorable practice facilities, the under-funded recruiting budget and the pittance of a salary the JJ is getting. Where's the shame, man?

Help us, Obi Mark; you're our only hope!

Anonymous said...

Regardless of an outcome of this terrible situation, a responsible person or party should pay the price. Because this mess should have not happened in the first place.


I am glad that a rep. like Mr Takai takes charge on the situation and show supports from high-ups. If there is any other way people can show support for our coach, please share because i will be there for the coach.

Michael said...

Go Mustangs!