Florida State-Hawaii brings back memories


When it was announced that Hawaii would play Florida State in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic in December, who knew it would evoke memories of tension-filled games the last time they met 39 years ago?

Florida State, which would finish NCAA tournament runner-up that season, made the trip all the way out to Hawaii in December 1971 and lost twice. In fact, the first game wasn't even decided on the court.

Hawaii won that one by forfeit and the final score of 30-10. The Star-Advertiser tracked down former Florida State coach Hugh Durham, now 72, to reminisce about how as result of his disagreement with the officials, the referee called a forfeit in the middle of the game.

Durham said, "I go out there to do what coaches try to do and get a technical. I'm telling the official, 'These are two good teams, let 'em play, we came a long way, blah, blah, blah ...' and he tells me, 'Go sit down coach or I'm going to call a technical.' Well, that was what I went out there for, to get a technical, so I told him, 'Go ahead, call the son-of-a-bleep' and he tells me, 'Coach, you're out of the game.'"

"I think he thought I swore at him," said Durham, who now laughs at the memories.

When Durham refused to leave the court after the free throws had been shot, referee David Mahukona called the game and it went into the books as a forfeit.

When FSU beat the Hawaii Marines a night later, Durham remembers, "the headline in the paper was, 'Florida State finishes game.' "

Hawaii finished 24-3 that season and captured the program's first NCAA tournament bid behind scoring leader Bob Nash, and it's really too bad for old times' sake that he won't be on the sideline for this one.

Nash was fired as the team's coach in March, with Hawaii turning to Gib Arnold to help them return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002.

Beating Florida State at home once again would be a nice start.