(Note: I wrote this last night for today’s print edition, but we didn’t run it. Here it is now, though.)
Principals and members of the Oahu Interscholastic Association’s sanctioning committee met for three hours last night to probe into a rumor that two Kahuku football players were ineligible this season.
Kahuku (10-0), the top-ranked team in the state, is set to play Mililani for the league title tonight. However, principals will meet again this morning (11 a.m.) to continue discussion. Until a decision is made by administrators, No. 1 Kahuku’s postseason is in limbo.
The rumor began spreading last week when an anonymous caller informed the Star-Advertiser about the two players, claiming that they are fifth-year seniors. However, Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said at the time that he and athletic director Joe Whitford had checked into it and found the two student-athletes were eligible. Details were sketchy at best, but word was that they had repeated eighth grade in order to graduate and begin LDS missions immediately upon graduation at age 19 (in 2011).
In that scenario, they were eligible to play high school sports this season.
To date, no team has forfeited an entire season in OIA football while in contention to win the title. The league has no current fallback plan if the worst-case scenario were to become reality. The OIA has three Division I state-tournament berths.
Leilehua and Waianae are playing for third place and the league’s final D-I state berth tomorrow.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser