By Stephen Tsai
In an astonishing decision, the NCAA denied middle linebacker Brashton Satele's request for a medical exemption that would have allowed him to play as a sixth-year senior in 2010.
"I'm shocked," Satele said. "I thought I was coming back (to UH) for sure."
The NCAA ruled that Satele needed to prove he missed two seasons because of injuries. Satele had enough documentation for the 2009 season, but not enough for the 2005 season. Lee Ann Satele said the NCAA told them while they had documentation, it was postdated, and not actually from 2005. She said data was not collected at the time in 2005 because "nobody saw it would put us in this situation" several years later.
"We're all bummed," she said. "We gave it our best shot. But they wanted more information."
UH compliance officer Amanda Paterson said she was "disappointed" in the outcome, saying, "I thought we put on a strong case." But the lack of "contemporaneous documentation" — notes written in 2005 from doctors and physical therapists — hurt the appeal.
Satele is now available to be signed by the NFL. The draft is next week, and qualified players may be signed to free-agent contracts after that.
Right tackle Laupepa Letuli still is awaiting word on his appeal for a sixth year.
Paterson, who was named interim compliance officer in 2008, said that, during orientation meetings, student-athletes are instructed to collect contemporaneous documentation whenever they suffer an injury.
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Big weekend for the UH teams.
The volleyball Warriors can guarantee hosting an opening-round match next weekend if they sweep UC Santa Barbara tonight and tomorrow. There are a few scenarios in which they could split and still host, but there's no chance if they lose both.
It will come down to serving. Stat people too often focus on aces, but the coaches focus on the 3-point system, with the emphasis being on the serve that takes away the quick-middle option from the setter. If the Gauchos can't run the middle, then the Warriors have a greater chance of slowing outside hitter Jeff Menzel.
By the way, Jonas Umlauft is a lock for national newcomer of the year. He also should be a lock for an All-America spot. He's been that good.
Just so I know that you're paying attention, we're giving away a Warrior volleyball T-shirt (courtesy of Rob25's brother-in-law).
To enter the drawing, please post: It's spring cleaning. Time to sweep.
The charming Avis Yasumura will select a winner tonight.
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There should be a nice-sized crowd tonight when the softball Rainbows host Louisiana Tech at 6. (There's a doubleheader tomorrow, starting at 4 p.m.)
The game has national ramifications for the Rainbows (11-0), who already have clinched a winning WAC season. They have nine WAC games remaining; the snowed-out game at Utah State will not be made up unless it has a bearing on the standings, which it won't because of head-to-head tie-breakers.
With 33 overall victories, the Rainbows are on track to reach 40 wins, the number that usually is regarded as the amount needed to secure a Regional invitation. Plus, the Rainbows would like to stay in the top 25.
Thing is, this weekend's games will be televised, and for some reason, visiting teams play better when the K5 crew is in attendance. There are no reliable studies on the impact of ESPN 1420 AM's Chris Hart's presence.
I've got some Advertiser merchandise to give away. If you want any of it, just yell: Move over, Leahey, and stop hogging the booth.
I'll distribute the goods at the game tonight.
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Maybe it's because I'm old — OK, definitely it's because I'm old — but I've been having trouble remembering ... uh, remembering ... names. Yes, that's it. Names.
The other day I wanted to do a quick interview with the walk-on kicker from Kaiser High. So he walked up, and I said: "Hey, Kaiser guy." (Sportscaster Robert Kekaula was laughing, but he didn't know the guy's name, either.)
After practice, I asked media relations director Derek Inouchi to pull over the kicker for an interview. Inouchi, who also didn't know the kicker's name, either, wasn't able to track him down.
I finally hunted down the kicker. We had a nice chat for a couple of minutes. Then I tried that ol' reporter's trick. I said: I know your first name is tricky, can you spell it for me?
And he answered: K-Y-L-E.
His name is Kyle Niiro. He's a 2008 Kaiser grad. He's attended UH the past two years, but decided to try out for football at the urging of friends, who thought the Warriors needed kicking help. Thanks to the strong winds at Kaiser's stadium, he said he averaged more than 45 yards per punt, and is capable of place-kicking up to 60 yards. And he has no jersey number.
And, if anybody asks, pretend that "Kyle" is a difficult name to spell.