Posted at 6:59 p.m., Thursday, August 21, 2003
Chang ineligible for season opener
Advertiser StaffUniversity of Hawai'i quarterback Tim Chang will miss the season opener against Appalachian State on Aug. 30. because he was found to be ineligible for last year’s Hawai'i Bowl, a game in which he played.
Earlier today, the NCAA reinstated Chang on the condition of sitting out the first game of the season, a UH press release said.
"This is an unfortunate situation for Timmy and our football program," said Tom Sadler, UH associate athletics director.
"This is not fair, but we will deal with it, play without him for the first game, and move on," UH coach June Jones said.
After grades were submitted Dec. 28, 2002, Chang was found ineligible under the Western Athletic Conference’s new six-credit rule for the Christmas Day game.
The new rule, which was adopted during the summer to prevent players from "blowing off" their final semester of classes, requires schools to certify that their players have passed a minimum of six credit hours in the previous term to be eligible for postseason play. At UH, that essentially means a football player must receive a D-minus or better in two classes during the fall semester.
In March, the WAC publicly reprimanded and fined UH $5,000 after the school failed to academically certify its football team for the Hawai'i Bowl.
UH maintained certification of its roster was difficult because of the brief turnaround between the end of the semester Dec. 20 and the Dec. 25 game.
WAC officials, who had suggested six weeks before the game that UH apply for a hardship w.aiver, said the school never followed through.