Kamehameha Schools head boys basketball coach Micah Kroeger was suspended by the schools principal Tony Ramos for at least two days this week and assistants took his place at Thursday nights 74-44 victory over Maryknoll.
Kroeger referred questions to co-athletic director Blane Gaison, who referred questions to Kekoa Paulsen, spokesman for the school.
"Its being handled as a personnel issue," Paulsen said. "Until we are able to resolve whatever issues exist, we cant release any detailed information."
The Advertiser learned that the entire Kamehameha Varsity I team boycotted practice on Monday. Kamehameha suited up only seven players for its game with Punahou on Tuesday and leading scorer Kolo Kapanui did not play. The Warriors lost, 55-51, missing a chance to tie for third place in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.
Assistant coaches Jesse Nakanishi and Kalia McGee were in charge of the team at Wednesdays practice and Thursdays game, in which Kapanui was co-leading scorer with 18 points and 11 players played.
Kroeger, a former standout player at University of Hawaii (1995-98), is in his first season as head coach at Kamehameha.
He has said that one of his main goals was to instill a fighting spirit into his players. Some parents and players apparently have complained of his behavior at practice and games and his treatment of players.
Following a game against Iolani Jan. 27, Kroeger confronted referee Bryan Barr twice in a heated argument, witnesses said.
"Hes struggling with team chemistry," said a veteran ILH coach who asked not to be named. "Its a communication thing. He has all the best intentions, but he has to develop maturity. He brings the same intensity he had as a player and wants his players to develop that desire."
Kroeger, 25, is the youngest head boys basketball coach on Oahu.
In an e-mail to team parents on Wednesday, Ramos said Kroeger had been "placed on Administrative Leave and will not be at practices and games until further notice." He said he and Gaison had met with all team members and, "They appeared to be pleased (with Ramos decision)." He asked the parents to stay away from practices to "allow the team to unify themselves."