Hawaii game now official

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama will add Hawaii to its football schedule, giving the Tide 13 regular season games for the 2002 season. The game will be played on Nov. 30 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu and will be aired at 7 pm (CT) nationally by ESPN.

"This is a unique opportunity for our team and fans," said Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore. "We have an open date that weekend and when the game became available, we thought it was an excellent opportunity to play a game that we would not ordinarily get to play. It took us some time to get the details ironed out, but it is done and I think our team, staff and fans are excited about the game"

Due to scheduling changes allowed by NCAA rules, most teams were playing a 12-game regular season schedule already.

"This will certainly stretch our season, but the team voted unanimously to participate in the game," said Tide head coach Dennis Franchione. "The players were excited about the opportunity to play in Hawai`i. A game of that type doesn't come along very often."

Alabama has never played Hawai`i in football, but has played on the islands before, a 1985 win over Southern Cal (24-3) in the Aloha Bowl. Linebacker Cornelius Bennett and halfback Gene Jelks won outstanding player of the game awards during that contest.

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