The parents of a St. Francis student has filed a lawsuit against the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and the Oahu Interscholastic Association, challenging transfer rules.
Junior offensive lineman Skylar Kalilikane-McMoore is awaiting a decision from Hawaii’s First Circuit Court. He wants to play football this season, according to one of his family’s attorneys, Stephanie Segovia, but the season is running out. The Saints are off to a 4-0 start with five regular-season games remaining.
As of right now, Kalilikane-McMoore is considered ineligible to play by the HHSAA.
Before enrolling in a high school in 2016, the Kalilikane-McMoore family wanted to get Skylar into St. Francis. However, at the time, the family did not have the financial resources to send him to that private school and instead enrolled him at Pearl City, Segovia said.
Kalilikane-McMoore played for the Chargers’ junior varsity team in 2016.
In July 2017, with the family finances in order, Kalilikane-McMoore applied to St. Francis, and he was eventually accepted in August. However, during the summer of 2017, he practiced with Pearl City, apparently for more than seven days.
According to the lawsuit filed, Kalilikane-McMoore willfully sat out all of the 2017 season, knowing that is what transfer students are supposed to do.
But, what the family did not know is that in the eyes of Hawaii football administrators, by practicing for more than seven days in the summer of 2017, he was deemed to have been a Pearl City football participant during the 2017 season and so he was also required to sit out 2018.
This information came slowly to the family, according to Segovia. They thought he was fine by sitting out all of 2017’s games.
“We feel he should not be penalized two years for transferring,” Segovia said. “If you look at the rules, there may be some basis for it, but that’s if you are looking at it in a vacuum.”
Fata McMoore and Starr Kalilikane, Skylar’s parents, applied to the ILH for an exemption, but were initially denied. They appealed and were eventually granted an exemption. But soon after, they were told by the St. Francis administration that they also needed to get an HHSAA exemption. They then applied to the HHSAA, but were denied.
Chris Chun, the HHSAA exeuctive director, said he can’t comment on the case while litigation is ongoing. Joe Stewart, an attorney for the HHSAA, did not want to comment because Kalilikane-McMoore is a minor.
In the court filing, the plaintiffs claim that Skylar Kalilikane-McMoore’s “liberty interest in obtaining a football scholarship to help his family pay for college” is being violated and that “no notice was given that the seven-day rule would be applied, nor that it would be applied in a punitive and compounded manner on top of the transfer rule.”