Thursday, May 11, 2000
Fourteen players cutBy Paul Arnett
from football team
University of Hawaii head football coach June Jones released 14 players from the spring roster yesterday, including three who were on scholarship.
Jones declined to say which three of the players he let go because it's possible they could return to the roster in the fall.
"We told them they could keep their scholarships if they wanted to, but they probably weren't going to see much playing time in our system,'' Jones said.
"Right now, we're helping them look at other schools to give them a better chance to play.''
The cuts had to be made from the spring roster to comply with NCAA rules that state you can't have more than 105 players invited to fall camp. That number increases to 123 once school begins, so it's possible some of these players could return in late August.
Jones held evaluations with all the players to let them know where they were at and what they needed to do over the summer in order to be in good shape for fall camp.
After watching the films of spring practice, Jones was pleased with the progress of his defensive unit.
He believes the Rainbows are very athletic on the defensive side of the football and should be improved over a year ago.
As for the offense, that's a different story because so many new faces will be in the starting lineup, including four offensive linemen and a quarterback.
Jones said he will wait until the middle of fall camp to announce a batting order for his players under center.
"I thought all five (newcomers) had good moments in the spring,'' Jones said. "Jared Flint played well in the spring game. He probably stood out over the other guys, but you have to take into account the plays called and the defense he faced. It will probably take three games for our offense to get comfortable with what we're doing. But I feel like we'll be a good football team by the time we play our conference opener against UTEP.''
These days, Jones and Co. are reviewing films of teams with new coaching staffs. Tulsa and UTEP hired new bosses during the off-season.
It's also the first year the University of Nevada will be in the conference.
"We want to see what these coaches like to do on offense,'' Jones said. "We're also looking at tape of Portland State. The season will be here before you know it.''
Jones is also reviewing the status of suspended linebacker Chris Garnier. He said the senior will meet with the assistants and then himself before making a final determination.
"I'd say it's 50-50 that he will be back with us,'' Jones said. "We'll probably make a decision on that over the summer.''
Ka Leo O Hawaii