Toiaivao told to stay away for season
The junior was also ordered to complete 30 hours of community service
Hawaii center Alofa Toiaivao has been suspended for the remainder of the Rainbow Wahine basketball team's season due to a violation of team rules, UH coach Jim Bolla announced yesterday.
"It's a decision you don't want to have to make, but ... for the best interest of everybody involved it was probably the best decision," Bolla said.
The Wahine (11-6, 2-4 Western Athletic Conference) face Nevada (6-12, 2-4) in a conference matchup tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Toiaivao, a 6-foot-4 junior from Sandy, Utah, was among three players suspended following UH's game at Fresno State last week.
Toiaivao, who scored a season-high 17 points against the Bulldogs, junior forward Pam Tambini and sophomore guard Saundra Cariaga were sent home prior to Hawaii's loss at Boise State on Monday.
Tambini and Cariaga were reinstated earlier this week. Bolla indicated a previous history contributed to the decision to suspend Toiaivao for the rest of the season.
"It was completely different circumstances," Bolla said.
"This decision was not made lightly, it wasn't made in haste. It took three days for us to finally come to this decision. But there's more than just this one incident that was involved."
In addition to the suspension, Toiaivao has also been assigned 30 hours of community service.
Bolla said Toiaivao will retain her scholarship this year, and will have access to the academic services provided by the athletic department.
A decision on whether she will return next season will be made at the end of the school year.
Toiaivao played in 11 games this season and started six, averaging 8.5 points and 6.4 rebounds.
She was UH's leading scorer (13.5 ppg) and rebounder (8.5 rpg) in four WAC games. Senior Callie Spooner started in Toiaivao's place in UH's win over Utah State on Thursday. Tanya Smith and Dalia Solia also rotated in the post.
"It's up to her now to hopefully finish this thing out and get back on track. And it's up to us now to make the adjustment team-wise," Bolla said.