Hawaii's nearly $4.4M payout sets record for non-BCS school

HONOLULU -- The University of Hawaii will receive nearly $4.4 million for playing in the Sugar Bowl, a record payout to a non-Bowl Championship Series school.

Hawaii is expected to net about $2.2 million after expenses associated with playing in the New Year's Day game against Georgia, school and Western Athletic Conference officials said. The eight other conference members will each receive $410,555.

Georgia, which beat Hawaii, 41-10, will earn $17 million for the Southeastern Conference, one of the six BCS leagues.

New Hawaii athletics director Jim Donovan said the multimillion-dollar payoff is only part of the reward for Hawaii.

"Our whole school and state benefited from the exposure leading up to and through that game," Donovan told The Honolulu Advertiser.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson said with the conference having teams in back-to-back years represented in BCS bowls "is a very strong statement about the WAC."

Boise State was paid about $4.3 million for its 2007 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma.