Maneafaiga now student manager
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stephen Tsai
Running back Bryan Maneafaiga will "retire" as a University of Hawai'i football player and serve as the Warriors' student manager.
"It's a good thing," Maneafaiga said. "I'm grateful for this opportunity."
As a fifth-year senior in 2005, Maneafaiga was limited to two games — he started the opener against Southern California — because of a hamstring injury. After the season, he petitioned the NCAA for an exemption to allow him to play as a sixth-year senior in 2006. His appeal was based on his missing the 2002 season to take care of his grandmother.
Maneafaiga's scholarship could not be renewed until the NCAA approved his case. Maneafaiga could not afford the fall semester tuition, which was due yesterday. Although he lives in Wai'anae, he spent a few years in California, and is being charged the non-resident tuition of $5,088.20. "I don't have that kind of money," he said.
UH coach June Jones solved the dilemma by offering a job that has a compensation comparable to a football scholarship.
"He's a good guy, and he can really help us," Jones said.
Maneafaiga said: "I'm going to miss playing, but I'm glad I can remain with the team. I look at this as a good opportunity."
Maneafaiga, who is majoring in speech, is on track to earn a bachelor's degree in May 2007.
He has served as the team's unofficial chaplain, a role he hopes to continue as a student manager.
"This can be a blessing," said Maneafaiga, who will no longer pursue his petition with the NCAA.
Reach Stephen Tsai at firstname.lastname@example.org.