Former Damien RB challenges ILH transfer rule

Damien running back Keoua Kauhi led his school in rushing as a junior. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

Former Damien football player and wrestler Keoua Kauhi has filed a civil action against Blane Gaison and the ILH challenging the league’s transfer rule.

Kauhi, who led the Monarchs with 914 rushing yards and five touchdowns last year, transferred to Saint Louis in March and applied for an exemption of the ILH’s transfer rule but was denied because of “a standing league and state policy regarding transfer students,” according to the lawsuit obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kauhi claims that the Damien coaching staff had an issue with him and some teammates participating in trips sponsored by the Hawaii Athletes in Action Foundation, and one of those trips led to the group being punished in front of the rest of the team for participating.

The filing claims that the situation devolved into verbal abuse including at least one racial slur by the Damien head coach that resulted in Kauhi suffering from anxiety, stress and depression. The filing claims that attempts to resolve the situation with the school were ignored.

Kauhi, who lives in Kaneohe and had been enrolled at Damien since seventh grade, is currently ineligible to participate in ILH sports. The filing asks for the right to play football and wrestle at Saint Louis in his senior year so as to not hurt his college prospects. Kauhi claims that he has drawn ‘definite interest’ from seven different college football programs, including Utah, Idaho State and UNLV.

Civil case No. 18-1-1064-07 asks for an exemption of the transfer rule because of the following:

“The ILH’s applicable rules on their face are impermissibly vague, ambiguous and overbroad in violation of provisions of article I of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii and and the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution.”

The Monarchs have won the last three ILH Division II championships.

Here’s the copy of the lawsuit


  1. Chicken Grease July 14, 2018 11:08 am

    You assume too much, True ILH.

    True ILH</b.)July 14, 2018 10:58 am

    Chicken grease really doesn’t know what he is talking about. Tries to sound smart with a simple problem. These rules were set in stone for a reason. Obviously Keoua did not get granted an exception because he lacked evidence, and word of mouth is not evidence, Mrs Tuiasasopo’s word of mouth is not evidence

    This is NOT a simple problem and NO one’s word can be taken at face value, at this point (well, except for, maybe, the racial slurs and cursing, which I haven’t seen an outright denial of, especially from the pro-ILH/Damien commenters here) and THAT’s why there’s a court case now (did the “third party getting involved” aspect somhow elude you? 🤔).

    Hey. I wrote what I wrote. Open to any legal type to come by and criticize. “Dunno what he talking about” is not a, uh, bona fide criticism. Really. Ooooh. “Dunno what he talking about.” Profound. 🙄

  2. Athletic Director July 14, 2018 6:24 pm

    Chicken Grease,
    You killed the thread because it’s useless debating with you, the village idiot!! 😂😂😂

  3. Chicken Grease July 14, 2018 6:41 pm

    Heh AD. We need a life! 🤪

    Aloha to all!

  4. Athletic Director July 14, 2018 6:52 pm

    True statement. I’ll stop the ad hominem attacks. Just trying to goad you. Lol. Catch you later!

  5. No Dog JMHO July 14, 2018 10:53 pm

    Sorry Chicken Grease, I’d love to give this kid the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t think his constitutional rights are being violated here. Good luck with that one, many will surely be watching. In regards to the 5th and 14th amendments argument you mentioned, how are his liberties being violated. His right to play football isn’t being deniedl, he can play this year, just not for am ILH team. This may not be a great example, but it’s to the point. If I decide to to play a round of golf today and I want to play Oahu Country Club, they’re going to say no. Are my constitutional rights being violated because they’re denying me access to their club? NO! If I don’t abide by their rules and regulations, dues/fees etc…like everybody else, then I cannot play. Many institutions/organizations have certain policies and conduct that need to be followed in order to be a part of. Now if I went to every course on the island and nobody would allow me to play, then this could be a violation of my constitutional rights and liberties. Using your logic, there would not even be a need for a transfer rule because there would be no way to enforce it. Everybody could just claim their freedoms and liberties are being violated and do as they wish. The one thing I do agree on with you is Hawaii is a rediculously blue state and to that end he might actually have a shot in the courts. Hawaii has some of the most liberal, far to the left leaning, PC, I’m going to interpret the law the way I think it should be versus the way it was written, judges in the world. Time to sit back and pop the popcorn.

    P.S. I really do feel sorry for the kid, i don’t want to see him sit out the year, I hope he gets a chance to play somewhere.

  6. No Dog JMHO July 14, 2018 11:06 pm

    Another thing I’d consider if I was his parent, Saint Louis isn’t going to take any chances on playing hiim until they know for sure the final outcome of this case. They certainly won’t risk playing a player that could be deemed ineligible at a later date. This alone could lead to him not getting on the field this year.

  7. You know August 2, 2018 1:13 am

    Bottom line is the rule is the rule..his dad is an alumni so he should know the rules..I am to an alumni of Damien High..I played for coach Aina and so did KEOS Aina’s way of coaching is 10times worst then coach K..that’s just how coaching is..suck it up Cal is no saint either makes you or breaks you..look at all the athletes that was coached by all three of these coaches that played or is playing college yes this style of coaching might be mistaken for bullying but that’s your opinion..these kids are playing FOOTBALL..a very physical contact sport..not playing the flute or golfing..his dads attitude and toughman pride is what is getting in the way of his son being great..he needs to stop trying to live out his football dream thru his son..cause we all know he was a bench warmer and didn’t get much playing time when he was on the team..its sad but true..I was there when he threaten coach K about pulling out his son because he was mad he got told to stop popping illegal fireworks at 2am by coach k in front of everyone..he was all shame and embarrassed..couldn’t swollow his pride so used his son to try and get back at coach K..but in all 1 player doesn’t make a takes all 11players to make a team..this kids is gonna loose out on his senior year because of his dads pride..if it was this bad for several year why not leave earlier..if the kids has red and blue in his veins..why not go StL from the start..daddy has a good job..tuition shouldn’t be an issue..I’m a father myself and I would protect my kids no matter what but you still have to have a humble approach to can’t always think because you shoot up “roids” and have an anger issue with “I can smash the world” attitude things going always go your way..I would humble myself for the benefit of my this world our kids will always get the backlash for our this case the boy not being able to play this season because of the rules and because daddy thought he was getting back at the coach for pulling his all-star running back son out of Damien High..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email