It’s Monday morning, I’ve had my oatmeal and banana, and Kahuku’s legal team is filing suit against the OIA, HHSAA and the DOE state superintendent in court.
It’s come to this.
On one hand, attorney Eric Seitz has said clearly that the intent is mainly to get all parties to sit down and discuss this delicate, complex matter. On the other, the state football tournament is set to begin on Friday and the gears are in motion. Planet tickets. Hotel Reservations. Car/bus rentals. Untangling all of that stuff would be inconvenient, to say the least. Not impossible, but difficult.
Judge Rhonda Nishimura is presiding in district court. Once she gets the suit in hand, there will be time to review. I’m not legal buff, but learning the process as it unfolds is actually not too painful.
Seeing what’s happened with Kahuku because of the ineligibility issue and disqualification … that is painful to watch.
UPDATE, 11:22 a.m.: Word is that Nishimura is not the judge presiding over this case. Judge Karl Sakamoto is presiding and the hearing will be tomorrow. Our court reporters are on this, but I’m very curious about the outcome. So, it seems, is a statewide football community.
My question is this: If, in fact, the player in question was not a ninth grader for very long before being sent back to eighth grade (to repeat), would he have been allowed to play varsity sports then? Did his eligibility clock begin while he repeated eighth grade (if that’s the actual scenario)?
Or did his clock begin the following year? It’s another gray-area question, one of many in this case.
My head is starting to hurt.
UPDATE, 12:33 p.m.: OK, correction. No hearing is set yet for Tuesday. But all parties will convene this afternoon (2:30 p.m.) with Judge Sakamoto. I have no clue what happens then, but I’ll be tuned in.
UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: The conference is done and Judge Sakamoto will preside over an evidence hearing tomorrow, 8:30 a.m. at district court. Witnesses will be involved.
From what I understand, Judge Sakamoto is a former public defender. Hard to say if that helps or hurts either side, but the fact that this is going to a hearing is interesting. The details will be laid out in the open for all to see.
I just hope this process results in putting a higher priority on compliance for everyone, meaning administrators, coaches and teachers need to have the manpower and resources to get these tedious, important tasks done.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser