ILH denies St. Francis’ appeal of forfeited games

The ILH denied St. Francis’ appeal to overturn its decision to forfeit all of its football games in Division II this season due to the use of an ineligible player.

On the field, the Saints finished the regular season 9-0 overall and 8-0 in ILH Division II. They were on the verge of playing in the state tournament for the first time in school history before last Friday’s announcement that they had used an ineligible player.

Pac-Five will now represent the ILH in the Division II state tournament beginning Nov. 10.

Casey Asato, the St. Francis head of school, received official notice from the ILH late Thursday afternoon that his appeal was denied.

St. Francis head of school Casey Asato: “I think there’s cleanup to be done on all levels.” Courtesy St. Francis School.

In part, Asato was asking that instead of forfeiting the eight regular-season games, the school should be forfeiting just the five games the ineligible player played in.

In the notice received by Asato, the ILH wrote that it considered “the entire period that the student (was) a participant on the eligibility roster” in making its decision.

Asato, however, has a different interpretation of the rule in the ILH handbook, which states, “the penalty shall be the forfeiture of the contest or contests by the team that used the ineligible player during the player’s period of ineligibility.”

Asato questions the term “used” in the rule because the player did not play in three of St. Francis’ eight league games.

“One of the things I urge athletics on Oahu to do is clarify the governing authority among the member schools immediately for the sake of football, athletics in general and student-athletes. There is confusion and it needs to be addressed going into the second year of the (OIA-ILH football) pilot program and shared with member schools. I think there’s cleanup to be done on all levels.

“To me, it’s for the sake of the kids that there is clarification and no confusion. As it stands now, it’s open to interpretation.”

The whole process Asato went through in trying to do the right thing was also filled with confusion, he said.

“On Friday afternoon (last week), the executive director (Blane Gaison) and assistant executive director (Georges Gilbert) came to my office and basically informed us verbally that we had violated rule 10.2A.

No paperwork was done at the time, and everything — including Asato’s agreement to forfeit eight games — was verbal.

After looking closer at the rule, Asato filed his appeal Saturday morning, but did not get official notification from the league about the initial forfeiture until Tuesday.

“I didn’t get written notification until Tuesday at 2:40 p.m., despite repeated requests,” Asato said. “That was less than 24 hours before we were supposed to meet with the appeals board.”

Asato, in his appeal, offered various ways to settle the issue, including having the teams finish the season (play the two games, one by each team, that were canceled due to Hurricane Lane). All were denied.

“This was not about challenging the allegations,” he said. “We made an oversight and we take full responsibility for it and we’re taking steps so that it never happens again. This is about the kids who had an 8-0 record. It’s not about us adults.”

A call to Gilbert for ILH comment was not immediately returned Friday afternoon.


  1. Getta gone October 26, 2018 1:01 pm

    Dr. Casey Asato you need to clean your house, you walked into a mess start all over. Clean it up this is one big part why Sister Joan is gone!

  2. Does Eligibility List Reflect Eligibility? October 26, 2018 1:06 pm

    Maybe a policy that if a student is ineligible…. he/she shall be taken off of the eligibility list. Then placed back on when he/she does become eligible. This would be clear as crystal.

  3. Does Eligibility List Reflect Eligibility? October 26, 2018 1:09 pm

    ….otherwise, how would you know if an athlete played or not? What if he came in for one play on the special team and didn’t contribute to a tackle or yardage gain? Use the Eligibility list to determine who could play or not.

  4. Getta Gone October 26, 2018 1:25 pm

    Its the AD an Coaches an parent’s responsibility to be honest check the transcripts, they needed it to transfer get an athletic clearance from the school too. They didn’t do there work tried to sly because of low roster numbers who’s gonna check! Apparently somebody checked!

  5. Falcon Future October 26, 2018 1:38 pm

    Fair decision, I think. It sounds like the St. Francis head of school tried to get by on a technicality. I have to think that the ineligible kid still suited up and warmed up in the three games he didn’t play. If he’s warming up, he’s still participating by helping his teammates get ready for the game. Plus by being suited up and ready on the sidelines, it means he could have gone in under different circumstances. That’s a big difference from being on the side in the school clothes.

    Sucks for the rest of the team though. St. Francis vs. Lahainaluna coulda been a good one!

  6. Coach C October 26, 2018 1:46 pm

    Eight years after the undefeated Kahuku Red Raiders forfeited the 2010 season, this continues? Kahuku”s issue was also bought up, days prior to championship series. Coaches should also have a dedicated staff to check ALL members. That and grades. Access to front office records. If any descripences, investigate. Totally completed by first game.

  7. Tia Thompson (Kahuku's Asst Coach) October 26, 2018 1:52 pm

    I feel for these boys. In 2009 I was an Asst Coach with the Waianae boys’ varsity vball team which went undefeated all the way to the OIA D1 finals against Roosevelt however we forfeited the day prior to the match because of an ineligible player, smh. We as coaches can only do so much. The AD has to be on top of things.

  8. Scott Rogers October 26, 2018 2:01 pm

    It is the ADULTS (both coaches and parents) that are directly responsible for this situation. It is part of the coaches job to maintain control of the incoming status of the incoming student athletes. This boy is now forced to walk around the campus of Saint Francis wth such a burden that I pray to God he doesn’t do anything to hurt himself.

  9. Chris October 26, 2018 2:54 pm

    I guarantee more schools are doing the same thing but getting away with it the system is a joke.

  10. Falcon Future October 26, 2018 3:21 pm

    I’d like to hear from Coach Fehoko again. His comments got deleted in the other article, but he had good info.

  11. Saints1x October 26, 2018 3:39 pm

    @ Falcon Future, the three games that our ineligible player missed out was because of grades, he never suited up and wasn’t allowed on the sideline during the game

  12. Falcon Future October 26, 2018 4:15 pm


    Thanks for the info. Okay, but even if you count those three games as wins for St. Francis, Pac-5 still comes out ahead by one game for the ILH title. And as said before, it is not fair to ask the OIA teams to play a make-up game AFTER their own playoffs to appease St. Francis.

    BTW, if a fifth year senior is missing games due to grades, that school has a lot more problems to fix.

  13. Robocop October 26, 2018 4:38 pm

    Filling an appeal and asking 3 other teams to risk injury and play another game is not taking full responsibility. Casey can not tell the coaches or kids “the ILH said no” he needs to tell them “We fail you guys we are sorry” and that’s it.

  14. WOW October 27, 2018 2:15 pm

    Such a sad situation

  15. Just wait i October 31, 2018 12:20 am

    As a player for Saint Francis, at the same time it’s somewhat pleasing to be “notorious” it’s kinda messed up that everyone including ILH and HHSAA or whatever they called is against us, our team barely has enough numbers to set up a whole 11 for offense and defense and most of the players we do have play both sides, we’ve traveled around to practice and play games because we don’t have a field of our own and our school doesn’t even have a JV so that we can have enough numbers for varsity and intermediate, last year when we lost all everyone did was talk about how we suck but now that we’re doing good in a division that we DIDNT ASK TO BE IN, everyone’s calling us out for “sandbagging” when we do good for once. All the haters out there just tryna break us because they scared we gonna win states, I’m still upset because you took away potential offers and experiences for the kids, NO MERCY NEXT YEAR

  16. Sad November 4, 2018 10:04 am

    The first year this OIA ILH merge gets approved st Francis gets caught cheating. Sad to say but because of that, highly doubt this merge will continue next season. Bad enough ILH recruits and OIA can’t, but on top of that an ILH school gets caught with a fifth year senior? Ruin it for everybody

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