Friday, June 10, 2005


Rivers falling out of
Warriors plans for ’05

Jason Rivers' already-iffy status on the Hawaii football team for the upcoming season has taken another bad turn.

The Warriors' top returning receiver for 2005 has eligibility questions because of grades. He improved them at a community college in the spring, and coach June Jones said Rivers is on his way to academic recovery.

But Rivers suffered a physical setback recently when he fell off a moped and injured a knee. UH coaches don't know how severe the injury is, but combined with the academics questions it gives them more reason not to count on the junior from Saint Louis School this fall.

"I don't know if Jason is eligible, and hopefully he'll have a full recovery," Jones said. "He'll be back (at some point). I know he's gotten good grades this spring. He's just got to keep working on getting the grade-point-average up. I know he can do it because he's a smart guy."

He's also talented.

As a sophomore last fall, Rivers was UH's second-leading receiver behind second-team All American Chad Owens. He caught 80 passes for 973 yards and seven touchdowns, following a 48-reception, 594-yard, five-TD performance as a true freshman.

Rivers has been at his best in bowl games, with 18 catches for 291 yards and four scores in the 2003 and 2004 Hawaii Bowls.

Warriors get academic recognition: Hawaii is among 25 Division I-A schools recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for graduating 70 percent or more of their football players who were freshmen from the 1999-2000 academic year.

"I knew that our GPAs were good and our kids have done very well in school," Jones said. "I didn't know they were totaling all this. It reflects the diligence of my coaching staff, grade checks and the work of Jenny (Matsuda) and her staff at the Nagatani Academic Center. Everybody committed to getting it done."

Duke and Northwestern graduated 100 percent of their players. Boston College, Miami (Ohio), Notre Dame and Vanderbilt graduated 90 percent or better.

The overall graduation rate for the 103 schools that responded was 58 percent.

Staff likely set: Jones said he doesn't expect any more changes to his coaching staff heading into the 2005 season.

"It's probably not changing," he said. "It's a 90 percent chance it will stay like this."

When offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh left for Oregon State, special teams coordinator Mouse Davis added the O-line duties to his responsibilities.

Jones said he was comfortable with Davis there, but also looked into other possibilities.

Former UH assistant Dennis McKnight was high on the wish list, but McKnight has just started a job on the San Diego State staff.

Combine at speed clinic: The Hawaii Speed and Quickness Camp, administered by UH assistants Rich Miano and Mel deLaura, includes a baseline combine this weekend, in which participants will be timed in sprints and agility tests. They will be timed again at the end of the summer.

The clinics are Saturday and Sunday. The 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. sessions are for ages 7-12, and 10:30 a.m. to noon are for 13 and up.

Call 739-5444 for information.

E-mail to Sports Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com