HAWAII GROWN: Notre Dame’s Gilman ineligible

Former Kahuku standout Alohi Gilman, who made the Star-Advertiser All-State team in 2014, is giving back to his community as a member of the Los Angeles Chargers. His Ho‘omana Lifestyle Foundation will host a football camp on Friday. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Former Kahuku star Alohi Gilman will not be eligible to play for Notre Dame this season after transferring in the offseason from Navy.

Gilman started all 12 games as a freshman for the Midshipmen and earned all-conference honors.

The Fighting Irish asked the NCAA for a waiver that would have allowed Gilman to be eligible this year, but the request was denied. He will not be eligible until the 2018 season unless Notre Dame wins an appeal.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday he was unsure whether they would appeal.

“Alohi Gilman was denied by the NCAA his request for a waiver to the initial transfer eligibility,” Kelly said at a press conference. “We are still in the process of deciding whether to appeal that or not. We haven’t made a final decision on that.”

Gilman, a former Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selection, had 76 tackles and five pass breakups for Navy last season and he played cornerback, safety and outside linebacker.

“(Alohi) knew going in that his chance to obtain immediate eligibility after his D-I to D-I FBS transfer might be 50/50,” Asai Gilman, Alohi’s father, wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. “It was a compelling case based on the Department of Defense rule change.”

Asai Gilman believes that if Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo supported the Notre Dame waiver, it would have increased the percentage (for approval). Mr. Gilman then mentioned that Niumatalolo told him directly that he was not supporting the waiver.

“The NCAA request for a waiver was based on the Department of Defense/military changing its stance on how professional athletic aspirations would conflict with one’s service,” Asai Gilman continued in his post. “If the DoD did not change the rules, Alohi would have been at Navy right now. It was the matter of just having that NFL option available in the same way; like it was provided to … those before him. This message was part of Alohi’s recruitment to Navy. It’s good to just have a decision from the NCAA finally because the season starts this week.”

In an interview, Gilman made it clear that he understands Niumatalolo’s position was “all business” and that, as a coach himself, respects the decision even though he has a difference of opinion and doesn’t agree.

Gilman added that he would have liked to see more aloha applied in this case for support toward the waiver.

“That is unfortunate,” he said. “With the NCAA decision being final, Alohi is now looking forward to 2018 and committed to preparing himself for next year. Although the decision wasn’t favorable for immediate play in 2017, he is grateful to Coach Ken Niumatalolo and Coach Brian Kelly for giving him the opportunity to pursue his dreams. I’ve counseled him to be passionate about his purpose, optimistic for his outcomes and grateful to God.”

The Fighting Irish open the season at home Saturday against Temple.


  1. 88 August 30, 2017 7:17 pm

    Uhhmmmm, The Navy Coach showed Aloha when he offered a FULL RIDE SCHOLARSHIP. Where is the Aloha to the commitment that was made to play for Navy? Where is the Aloha to your teammates and fellow Midshipmen? The Military is not and never was about a single Individual. Its about the group as a whole. The kid made an Individual decision. Cant fault the Coach for doing whats best for the Program.

  2. anywaaaays!! August 30, 2017 7:39 pm

    Goodluck to both teams and both individuals. Coach Ken is a heaven sent, opening many doors for local boys here in Hawaii. I agree with 88, no need to publicly dump on the Coach.

    Also, I would like for the author of this article to confirm he has gotten Asai’s permission to repost his personal facebook rantings in a public setting like this. I have no problem with a person expressing their words on their own social media platform but to allow such information to go public is in bad taste.

  3. RRFL84 August 30, 2017 7:48 pm

    Yes sir! 88 said it all and like it is! Alohi can sit out a year just like any other transfers ! Sounds like his father is taking it personal! I support Ken all the way. Go Navy!

  4. RT August 30, 2017 9:00 pm

    Facebook posts are public. It is no longer private.

  5. Sonny August 31, 2017 11:36 pm

    One someone posts something on social media, that site now owns it. Anyone can go there and use information posted and report or write on a public forum or in this case a sport blog. There is nothing unethical or unprofessional about it. If the young man wanted privacy he should have written it in a personal journal. I agree with 88.

  6. phILHarmonic September 1, 2017 5:24 pm

    Rubbish. The contract changed. Kenny should have shown more Aloha. Truth be told he didnt want to play Alohi this season. Purely business decision = No Aloha.

  7. LBI September 2, 2017 11:16 am

    DoD changed the rule. Unfortunate. That’s the issue. I don’t think the father is taking it personal. Looks like he is stating the facts.

  8. Whhy September 5, 2017 12:21 pm

    Where did Gilman coach? I ask because he says he understands “as a coach himself, respects the decision even though he has a difference of opinion and doesn’t agree. “?

  9. RRFL75 September 12, 2017 11:20 am

    88, RRFL84: It appears that he would of stayed if the DoD rules did not change. What about when Ken wanted to go to BYU? Did the rules change for Ken?

    Or was that all business? Program over people? or People over program? It’s not an issue of signaling out the support for Ken or Navy Football or the athlete. To me, this article is just a perspective. Just interesting how people look at it.

    Both are successful and we all should desire and wish them the best, in representing 808.

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