Saturday, October 16, 1999
The NCAA doesn't clearBy Paul Arnett
the UH football recruit
The NCAA turned down Pisa Tinoisamoa's academic appeal this week, forcing the talented Hawaii freshman to sit out this season.
Rainbows head coach June Jones confirmed the decision after yesterday's light workout at Cooke Field. He said he wasn't surprised.
"He's going to stay in school and hopefully we'll get him back next year," Jones said. "He needs to pass all his classes and do a lot of stuff before we'll know for sure.
"He can't be in any meetings, but he could come watch practice. I just told him to stay away. He can lift on his own. I started to think we wouldn't get him once it took so long. We're disappointed."
Tinoisamoa thought he had cleared all his academic hurdles once he joined fall camp. But the NCAA clearinghouse ruled a math class in question couldn't count toward his high school core subjects, leaving him one class short.
Ranked among the top 100 recruits in the country by The Sporting News and rated the second-best incoming freshman in the Western Athletic Conference, Tinoisamoa was a partial qualifier.
The Vista, Calif., standout scored high enough on the SAT, but it wasn't enough to offset being one subject short. At this point, he is no longer on scholarship and will lose a year of eligibility. Once he joins the team next fall, he will have four years to play three.
"We're going to miss him," Jones said. "He still has a chance to be a difference-maker, but he has to get it done in the classroom."
Tinoisamoa was something of a controversial recruit due to his checkered past. He spent part of his senior season in a youth correctional facility after pleading guilty to two counts of assault.
The Vista (Calif.) High standout is the first person to be named offensive and defensive high school player of the year by the San Diego Union-Tribune.