By Stephen Tsai
Two former standout Pac-10 players — quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and linebacker David Pa‘aluhi — will not be joining the Warriors this year, according to people with close knowledge of the situation.
Both had contacted UH. But it was mutually decided Masoli would not join the Warriors, according to sources. Pa‘aluhi, who was set to sign enrollment papers at UH, instead reaffirmed a previous commitment to enlist in the military with the intent of joining Special Forces.
Masoli, who was raised on the Mainland, attended Saint Louis School as a high school senior. He played one year at City College of San Francisco, where Nick Rolovich was the quarterbacks coach. At the end of that season, Rolovich was hired as UH's quarterbacks coach. As a qualifier out of high school, Masoli was eligible to transfer to a Division I-A after after one year at a JC. Out of respect for CCSF coach George Rush — a close friend to UH head coach Greg McMackin and Rolovich — the Warriors opted not to recruit Masoli at that time, which would have allowed him to return to CCSF for his sophomore season.
Instead, Masoli made himself available to be recruited. He signed with Oregon. After opening the season as the No. 3 quarterback, Masoli earned the starting job. In 2009, he helped Oregon win the Pac-10 championship.
But he was suspended for the entire 2010 season after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor burglary charge. Last month, he was dismissed from the Oregon team after receiving a citation for marijuana possession.
Pa‘aluhi, a Waianae High graduate, was Oregon State's second-leading tackler in 2009. He requested — and received — a release from his scholarship after insisting he wanted to enlist in the military. Pa‘aluhi, a new father, returned to Hawaii. He then contacted the UH coaches about the possibility of joining the Warriors. Talks had progressed enough that Pa‘aluhi was about to be added to the roster. But yesterday, UH coaches learned that Pa‘aluhi had decided to continue with his original plans.