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Extension hinges on bowl eligibility

HONOLULU -- Hawaii will always have a place in the Hawaii
Bowl so long as it meets NCAA bowl qualifications and does not want
to play in another game, organizers said.

When the contract creating the Hawaii Bowl was signed in 2002,
it included a clause stating that for the first two years of the
four-year deal, the Warriors would be invited as long as they met
the NCAA bowl-eligible requirement of having six victories over
Division I-A opponents.

Hawaii (9-5) won Thursday's Hawaii Bowl against Houston 54-48.
The Warriors went 10-3 in last year's regular season then lost the
Christmas Day game to Tulane, 36-28.

Jim Donovan, the game's executive director, said Friday that the
Hawaii clause will be extended "for the foreseeable future."

Donovan said the clause initially was limited to the first two
years because organizers were unsure if the NCAA would approve of a
long-term arrangement favoring Hawaii.

But during this year's meeting of the Football Bowl Association,
NCAA officials approved the clause, noting that without the Hawaii
Bowl the Warriors' chances of landing in a postseason game are
slim.

The Hawaii Bowl was created after the Hawaii's 9-3 record in
2001 did not lead to a postseason bowl. That also was the year that
two Hawaii games, the Oahu and Aloha bowls, moved to the mainland
due to sagging attendance at Aloha Stadium.

Donovan said the Hawaii Bowl would not stand in the way if the
Warriors wanted to play in another bowl, saying it would be up to
coach June Jones and athletics director Herman Frazier to accept
the invitation.