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.