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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 19, 2006

Cut day put off for two months

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

June Jones, center, had set mid-May as a time when he'd pare the roster to make room for 30 to 35 incoming recruits and walk-ons.

GREGORY YAMAMOTO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The University of Hawai'i football team will not cut any player for at least another two months, head coach June Jones told The Advertiser yesterday.

At the end of spring practice, Jones had said he needed to pare the roster to clear room for the 30 to 35 recruits and invited walk-ons who will report to training camp in August. Jones had said he would wait until the end of the spring semester to announce the first wave of cuts.

The semester ended last Friday, and Jones received all of the status reports by Tuesday morning.

But Jones yesterday told The Advertiser there were too many unresolved situations involving current players and newcomers, and he would prefer to wait until after the end of UH's first summer-school session before deciding on personnel decisions.

Jones said "nobody is eliminated" from attending training camp, adding, "we want to see how things work out."

NCAA rules limit Division I-A teams to 105 players for training camp. The roster may expand on the first day of school.

Jones said UH only has 105 football lockers. He said up to 120 players could be accommodated. He said there were 103 players on the spring roster.

Jones said he crafted a list of 26 players from the spring roster who are on the bubble for invitations to training camp. He declined to name the players on that list.

But two players on scholarship, running back Mario Cox and cornerback JoPierre Davis, told The Advertiser they met with Jones on Tuesday, and both were told they needed to earn six credits two classes during the summer.

"I just need a couple of Bs," Davis said. "I'm not going anywhere."

When told of Internet reports that he would not return, Cox said, "Hell no. I'm staying."

Cox and Davis acknowledged they were among a dozen players withheld from practicing during spring training to focus on school work.

Jones said he set mid-May as the original cut-down period because it coincided with the end of the spring semester.

"A lot of things have changed, and we needed more time (to make evaluations)," Jones said.

In other developments:

  • Wideout Jason Rivers, who did not play last season because of academic problems and a broken ankle, has fulfilled all of the academic requirements to play in the fall. Rivers earned 18 credits this semester, and will not need to attend summer school. As a sophomore in 2004, Rivers was second on the team in receptions (80), receiving yards (973) and touchdown catches (seven).

  • Louis "Lou-Dog" Santos, a popular walk-on defensive back, will make the team as either a player or student manager. Santos, who is majoring in engineering, had not played football since Pop Warner before joining the Warriors for spring practice. He pushed for a tryout at the urging of UH safety Leonard Peters. Santos, who was a paddler at Kamehameha Schools, was one of the most popular Warriors. After each tackle or pass breakup, his teammates would chant "Lou! ... Lou! ..." and Peters would act out a paddling motion.

  • Long-snapper Jake Ingram will be placed on scholarship in January.

    Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.