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Hawaii Football Now: Episode 20

By: Jarin Kobashigawa

This week on HFN Ep20, Jordan Helle and Hunter Hughes talk about the new incoming players including Junior College All-American Linebacker, Demarii Blanks and four-star recruit, QB Cammon Cooper. Helle and Hughes then go headfirst into the meat of this week’s podcast, debriefing all that happened in the State Senate Hearing.

Luckily for you, if you missed the 2-hour event, or didn’t read through the 86 pages of written testimonies, Helle and Hughes summarize what went down while also sifting and discussing what happened.

New UH Recruits

Starting the podcast on a more positive note, Helle and Hughes discuss the two stand-out recruits Blanks and Cooper, Blanks was a junior college All-American at San Mateo College which Cooper was a QB on the Washington State, a Pac 12 team. With the departures of Darius Muasau and Chevan Cordeiro, Blanks and Cooper seem to serve as a way to fill those gaps. Hughes says these recruits speak to the extensive and valuable network that Head Coach Todd Graham has.

Speaking to the Transfer Portal, Helle says that even though this UH Football Program has lost a lot of star players, at least the portal is becoming a two-way street.

State Senate Hearing

The event which lasted more than 2 hours last Friday, Jan. 7 unfolded into more than most of us thought. It was the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Higher Education Committee who called for this meeting. Helle and Hughes agree that even having a conversation around the budget and coaching staff was a good step in the right direction. The full audio of the hearing is available on the ESPN Honolulu Soundcloud.

The first agenda topic, the budget, and costs related to the coaching staff contracts did not get the conversations the senate had intended due to apparent miscommunication between President David Lassner and the Committees. While the Senate wished to discuss the overall athletic budget, Lassner and AD Dave Matlin were only prepared to discuss the Football Program’s budget. The Football Program is the largest revenue generator and often time will help to offset the sports that don’t bring in as much revenue said Senator Donovan M Dela Cruz.

The next hour of the hearing contained verbal testimonies, which were not originally on the agenda for the briefing. Players, alumni, and family members including, Leonard Lee, Derek Thomas and his parents, RJ Hollis, Daryl McBride, Justin Uahinui, and Michael Eletise’s parents. While those testimonies were in favor of removing Todd Graham as head coach, Helle says the written testimonies were roughly 50/50 in citing positive and negative experiences with the coaching staff.

With over half of the hearing left to unpack, Helle and Hughes take a pause and will resume their discussion on the hearing in next week’s episode of HFN.

College Football National Championship

In their overtime segment, Helle and Hughes discuss the biggest game in college football between the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide.

Mahalo to Spectrum & Zanthosyn for sponsoring HFN!

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