The Hawaii Exemption

By Kevin Kelley -

Have you heard the term Hawaii Exemption? The Hawaii Exemption is a rule enacted by the NCAA that allows Division I football teams that play at Hawaii to schedule a 13th regular-season game. The rule also allows the Warriors to play an extra game.

The addition of the 13th game, usually a home game, means extra revenue for those teams which can be used to offset the travel costs. However, teams can also schedule an extra off-week if they desire.

The Hawaii Warriors will play a 13-game schedule in 2010, and seven of those games are at home. Listed below are each of their home opponents and their own “Hawaii Exemption” status:

  • USC (13 games) – The Trojans have taken advantage of the rule by scheduling four non-conference games instead of their usual three. USC faces Virginia and Notre Dame at home and travels to Minnesota and Hawaii.
  • Charleston Southern (11 games) – The Buccaneers, an FCS school, will play only 11 games this season.
  • Louisiana Tech (12 games) – The Bulldogs have elected to schedule two open dates in 2010.
  • Nevada (13 games) – The Wolf Pack have used the rule to schedule five non-conference games instead of their usual four. Nevada plays Eastern Washington, Colorado State and California at home and travels to face BYU and UNLV.
  • Idaho (13 games) – The Vandals will also play an extra non-conference game. Idaho plays North Dakota and UNLV at home and Nebraska, Colorado State and Western Michigan on the road.
  • San Jose State (13 games) – The Spartans have scheduled an extra non-conference game. They play at Alabama, Wisconsin and Utah and home against Southern Utah and UC Davis.
  • UNLV – The Rebels have scheduled an extra non-conference game as well. The will face Wisconsin and Nevada at home and Idaho, West Virginia and Hawaii on the road.

The Hawaii Warriors will also take advantage of the rule in 2011 and 2012 because five non-conference games have already been announced for each of those seasons.

The NCAA Bylaws that govern this situation are listed below (NCAA Division I Manual):

17.28.2 Alaska/Hawaii, Additional Football Contest
Member institutions located in Alaska and Hawaii shall be permitted to exceed, by one, the maximum number of football contests permitted under Bylaw but otherwise shall conform to the same maximum number of contests and dates of competition permitted other members of the Association. Annual Exemptions. [FBS/FCS]
The maximum number of football contests shall exclude the following:

(k) Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico. [FBS/FCS]
Any football games played in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico,respectively, either against or under the sponsorship of an active member institution located in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico, by a Division I member institution located outside the area in question.

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Comments (7)

Interesting piece, except you are incorrect in one regard. Charleston Southern is an FCS team, but they are indeed still subject to the Hawaii rule. They have chosen not to use it and are only playing 11 games, the max for FCS teams, depending on how the calender falls in a given year.

Thanks Shawn, I should have actually looked up the law instead of trying to go by memory. I added a section at the end with the NCAA bylaws and changed Charleston Southern’s entry.