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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, July 4, 2000

R A I N B O W _ F O O T B A L L

UH Rainbow Football

UH roster
additions just talk

Football coach June Jones calls
reports about potential
transfers 'speculation'

By Dave Reardon


June Jones has heard the rumors. He hopes at least some of them are true.

But as far as the University of Hawaii football coach knows, that's just what they are -- rumors.

Published reports and Internet gossip over the past month have players from as far as Michigan State (Bradlee Van Pelt), Nebraska (Colin Wills) and Australia (Matt McBriar) headed to the University of Hawaii football team.

There's also scuttlebutt regarding local high school products returning to the green, green turf of home. They include Tafiti Uso (Punahou/Stanford), Willy Lobendahn (St. Louis/Idaho State) and Wayne Hunter (Radford/California).

Although Jones would probably welcome any player who could help the Rainbows, he's not talking about -- nor to -- them at this time.

He's not even allowed to initiate contact with his current players until fall camp opens next month.

"It's all speculation," he said. "I haven't even met (the potential transfers). I haven't seen releases come across my desk."

As of yesterday, Travis Laboy is the only potential transfer for whom Jones has received a release to play from his former school.

Laboy, the son of former UH defensive lineman Cliff Laboy, is a defensive end who is transferring from Utah State. He will have three years of eligibility left after sitting out the coming season.

NCAA rules prevent Jones from speaking to the media about specific potential transfers, and he is hesitant to talk about the overall situation.

One of the main reasons is that the UH coaching staff does not want to even appear to be tampering with players from other schools, which is illegal and unethical.

It's natural that players who didn't consider playing at Hawaii when it was struggling would want to join the program after last year's turnaround.

"Some are deciding on their own, and I think it might be some of our players telling these guys to come here," Jones said. "It's been said players are the best recruiters."

Players who do transfer to UH this fall could face a tough battle in attaining scholarships. The Rainbows, who secured the maximum 25 recruits this past spring, have no more scholarships available.

Playing time could be hard to get as well. Jones has called the latest recruiting class the school's best ever. All but one of the fall's incoming players have qualified academically.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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