Dis n' Dat
Posted at 12:41 PM

Friday, Aug. 5, 2011

OK, some thoughts and ramblings. You know me. Pupule Paul. I ramble.

>> The subscription requirement for online reading at Star-Advertiser. OK, this is going to take time to get used to. I'm cheap. I didn't even have a subscription for the past couple of years, not because it wasn't cheap (at the time, $50/year for the print/newspaper), but I didn't like the piles of newspapers stacking up in my little place. So I mainly read my news online. Save a little money, totally avoid more stuff piling up at home.

However, the new online "premium" service isn't so bad. I checked. The online-only price is a good deal. At $4.17 a month, that comes out to $50 a year. Four bucks or 20 bucks ... four bucks or 20 bucks. The $4 deal is a steal. What is that? 14ยข a day. I can handle that. (When I want the print version, I just go to the store.)

>> Kahuku situation. It seems kind of sad that the kids there are being subject to non-football issues again. I may be repeating myself, but it's no question in my mind that transparency is key to leadership. It is completely possible to maintain authority while asserting an open environment where everyone (and I mean everybody from the top down) can communicate. By this, I mean both speaking out and listening. Emphasis on listening to your right-hand person, left-hand person, everybody, and that includes the community.

Sure, people make mistakes, both students and adults, but the lack of transparency and leadership still baffles me. A lot of problems in this world, not all, but a lot can be averted through open lines of communication. That means dropping the tactics that intimidate employees into being "yes men." That means showing, not saying, but showing that everyone's opinion counts ... simply by asking and listening.

This isn't just about one school, of course. The DOE has a certain culture that has its good (teamwork) and bad (question no one). It's an evolved version of the plantation, to be blunt. You have your laborers. You have your lunas. You have your owners, rarely seen on the grounds, but calling every shot. When people are leaders and refuse to communicate openly with their support staff, coaches, etc., what else could we expect to happen but misunderstandings and mistakes? The problem isn't necessarily in the mistakes. The problem is that without prior relationships, it's extremely difficult to work through mistakes. Trust is an issue in these circles, and the saddest thing is that the student-athletes have to suffer from the lack of transparency at the higher levels.

Not to say there is a total lack of leadership. I think the OIA has an opportunity to reach higher and achieve more, not just on the playing fields, but in terms of communication and leadership. This is a time when the league can display more confidence simply by being more transparent. If you believe in what you do, there is nothing to hide, is there? Character, it is said, is what you do when nobody's looking. The league has nothing to hide, but by being secretive and lacking communication, it gives off the vibe of fear. Of uncertainty. Of mistrust.

Whether they understand this or not, all of the negative vibe gives parents, fans, student-athletes and everyone else a perception that is not positive. It's all unnecessary. We need more openness, especially when there are issues to deal with. I believe that to a man and to a woman, everyone working on behalf of student-athletes is capable of doing great things for them. They need to feel that confidence and trust that comes from a higher level, from administration, from the lawmakers, from everyone with influence.

It's a simple thing that can be difficult. Shouldn't be, though.

>> ILH football going all D-I. It's not happening until next year (2012) at the earliest, if it passes vote. Now, remember that the HHSAA format for state-tournament football is not based on ratios and formula. The format is strictly six teams in each tourney (D-I and D-II), and there is no guarantee that the HHSAA executive board (comprised of league adminstrators) would even change this. The ILH could go all D-I with its six football programs and still get only one state berth in D-I, while losing a berth in D-II.

At the HHSAA level, the OIA and ILH have the number of votes necessary to outnumber the KIF, MIL and BIIF combined on any issue, proposal, etc. However, if the ILH and the Neighbor Island leagues voted together for an expansion to an eight-team format -- which is how the D-I tourney began -- the OIA would be outnumbered. Would the OIA pressure the other DOE leagues to vote along those "party" lines? It's possible. But if expanding to eight teams for D-I (and possibly D-II) would mean more state berths for the MIL and BIIF, they would clearly be in favor of change.

To be fair, the OIA never wanted a state tournament for football. It never wanted statewide D-II, though it had Red, White and Blue Conferences as far back as the 1980s. Burying the Prep Bowl, which was a lucrative deal for OIA and ILH schools, meant accepting a much smaller piece of the pie once the state football tournament was born. So, if anyone expects the OIA to passively accept change, particularly in football, forget it. They'll always go down kicking and screaming. Well, not so much screaming, but definitely kicking.

>> Grumbling and mumbling about classification. What's left to say. I've written endlessly about the uneven criteria for Divisions I and II that vary from league to league. The slight differences, whatever. Each league should have some level of autonomy on this issue. But it still makes no sense for a large school, regardless of league, to be FORCED to play in Division II. It shortchanges the student-athletes. The only league that requires this as a blanket rule is the OIA. Sure, a D-II (White Conference) team can petition to move up, but if there is no compliant D-I team willing to move down, they are out of luck.

I won't go into all the details and continue rambling here but for this point: There is no way the OIA should have more than five or six D-II teams in most sports. They know it., too. But the league insists on imposing the same format for every sport, boys and girls, as if it were some national federation requirement. In fact, the national federation states boldly that a classification system based on wins and losses (i.e. OIA's power rating system) is absolutely AGAINST policy.

Enough said. Just wanted to toss this out here.

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