Warriors are taking care of academic matters
Finals week has meant practicing without the full squad as UH tries to avoid NCAA penalties
Yes, there was football practice yesterday at the University of Hawaii. Yes, there is a game to prepare for, an important one, the Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl vs. Arizona State. But the buzzword this week has been "academics."
Current and former University of Hawaii athletes who are graduating tomorrow
» Kainoa Akina, BBA, management
» Ross Dickerson, BA, political science
» Victor Fergerstrom, BA, sociology
» Lono Manners, BA, sociology
» Patrick Olchovy, BA, English
» Kenny Patton, BA, English
» Leonard Peters, BA, sociology
» Melila Purcell, BA, sociology
» Ian Sample, BA, English
» Dane Uperesa, BA, communication
» Esteban Lopez, BA, sociology
» Matt Dillon, BA, speech
Cross Country / Track
» Nicole Wright, BA, speech
» Matthew Gipson, BA, history
» Jarod Diepraam, BS, travel industry management
» Nimrod Palma, BA, communication
» Victoria Prince, BA, speech
Source: UH sports information office
June Jones estimated that Hawaii was missing "six or seven" players yesterday who were either taking or preparing for final exams, including starters Adam Leonard, Ian Sample, Abraham Elimimian and Kurt Milne. That's life in the UH football program at this time of year.
"We've been missing six, eight, 10 guys a day," Jones said. That's OK, he said. "We do what we can do."
"We are the Harvard of the ocean," defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said. "We've got guys taking tests and studying," ahead of coming to football practice.
Neither coach seemed to mind.
As Jones noted, Hawaii can't afford to be less than demanding when it comes to academics. In March, UH was penalized with the loss of five football scholarships and one baseball scholarship under new NCAA Academic Progress Rate guidelines.
But beyond that, both former NFL head men fully realize this is college football, after all.
Glanville is looking forward to attending another UH graduation -- last year he was presented with several leis.
Sixth-year-senior safety Leonard Peters -- "He and Richie Miano came in together," Glanville said -- is among several UH football players who will graduate tomorrow. He tried to get out of walking, but his parents insisted, and tomorrow Peters will wear the cap and gown and accept his degree.
He's already passed his last test. He had one class this semester -- women's studies.
"Anything you say in a women's studies class, the girls will be all over you," he said.
He enjoyed the healthy debate.
Peters will graduate with a degree in sociology. What kinds of jobs do sociology majors get?
"Anything with kids," he said.
That's what he wants to do.
Another graduate?: UH assistant Mouse Davis, Jones' longtime mentor and his coach at Portland State, isn't 100 percent sure, and won't make any promises or grand pronouncements. But he said yesterday he is leaning toward the Hawaii Bowl against Arizona State being his last game.
"In all likelihood," he said, "I'll be one of the seniors."
It would be his second (third? fourth?) retirement from coaching. After coaching Jones at Portland State, Davis embarked on a long and winding USFL, CFL, NFL and Arena career, before coming back to help his old quarterback at Hawaii. He's had a great time with the UH players, loves the other assistants and "June's kind of my boy," Davis said. It's been a lot of fun.
Still, though he's pretty sure, he won't make a final decision until looking at it after the season. He doesn't want to paint himself into a corner just yet.
"It's still golf season," he said.
Bowling for dollars: Since Glanville is best known as a pro coach, one might think he wouldn't know what to do with himself during all the extra time heading into a college bowl. But he seems to be adjusting OK.
"It's like a bye week in the playoffs," he said.
And, he said, he does have bowl experience. Five bowls, he said.
When was this?
"Holy cow," he said.
It was that long ago.
But still ... "I coached in the Liberty, the Sun, the Peach, the Senior Bowl twice, in Mobile (Ala.). And the Pro Bowl, in Hawaii, in our stadium! And won, and got an extra 5 grand."
Another award: Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan added to his list of honors from the 2006 season yesterday when he was named second-team All-American by collegefootballnews.com.
Coming soon: Arizona State is scheduled to fly to Hawaii on Monday and will practice at Aloha Stadium starting Tuesday.