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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 2:32 p.m., Monday, December 8, 2003

If players aren't certified, UH won't play in Hawaii Bowl.

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i football coach June Jones said today that the Warriors will not play in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Day if his players are not academically certified in time.

But UH athletic director Herman Frazier said he doesn't "see this as a major issue."

He said lot of checks are in place, including a status check on players on Dec. 15.

Last year, the Western Athletic Conference, of which UH is a member, implemented a rule that requires its football players to earn at least six credits during the fall semester to be eligible to play in a postseason bowl game.

UH did not certify any of its players, claiming there was not enough time between the end of the semester and the Dec. 25 game.

The fallout was UH was publicly reprimanded by the WAC, fined $5,000 and saw its starting quarterback Tim Chang suspended for the season opener against Appalachian State.

Last day of classes for this fall is Wednesday and the last final exam is Dec. 18.

Jones said he was told the fall grades will be available about 48 hours before the 3 p.m. kickoff on Christmas Day.

But if a computer glitch delays the posting of the grades and his players cannot be certified, Jones said he will not jeopardize the eligibility of the returning players by playing the bowl game.

UH defensive end Travis LaBoy, who was named WAC Defensive Player of the Year earlier Monday, told the players about the situation in a team meeting.

UH is scheduled to play Houston in the Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium.

The Warriors played in the Hawai'i Bowl last Christmas, losing to Tulane, 36-28.