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UH punter's lawyer to contest possible suspension

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 01:27 p.m. HST, Jul 25, 2012

The attorney for University of Hawaii punter Alex Dunnachie said he is contesting the school's authority to suspend his client.

In a letter to UH, Attorney Paul Cunney alleges "the due process procedures contained in the student-athlete code of conduct are not being followed with regard to suspensions and I am hopeful that this can be corrected before Alex's initial court appearance (Aug. 3)."

Dunnachie has not been suspended for his July 7 arrest on a DUI allegation but Cunney notes in the letter, "I am requesting a meeting with you as soon as possible to prevent Coach (Norm) Chow from suspending Alex Dunnachie after he appears in Honolulu District Court on Friday Aug. 3, which would violate the code of conduct of the student athlete."

Cunney told the Star-Advertiser, "Two years ago I represented a baseball player. He got arrested on a Saturday. On Sunday, the next day, (UH) sent a letter out suspending him pursuant to the code of conduct of the student athletes. The way I read the rule, it is mandatory that if you are going to suspend someone you've got to do it within 72 hours, no ifs, ands or buts.

"To me they have missed the deadline on not only (quarterback Cayman) Shutter but I know they missed the boat with Dunnachie."

Chow declined immediate comment.

UH begins its training camp Aug. 1, two days before Dunnachie's court date.

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Masami wrote:
Regardless the outcome he'll be one of Coach Chow's FAVORITES from now on.
on July 25,2012 | 12:45PM
peanutgallery wrote:
It's unfortunate, but today's sports no longer create character-- they reveal it.
on July 25,2012 | 03:44PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Alex was reckless. His position and if he has a scholarship should be given to someone who respects the public and does not put the public in danger.
on July 25,2012 | 12:54PM
olos73 wrote:
Agree. Didn't they just have a team meeting about these things, and couple days later he's arrested? No discipline. Give his scholarship to a deserving student/athlete.
on July 25,2012 | 01:12PM
lowtone123 wrote:
According to a reliable source Norm Chow had a meeting THAT MORNING reminding his players of their responsibilities and not to drink and drive and he gets caught.
on July 25,2012 | 01:37PM
scooters wrote:
Wasn't he on the teams Leadership Counsel?
on July 25,2012 | 02:28PM
myamadaster wrote:
That's why lawyers have such a bad rep.
on July 25,2012 | 01:10PM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
Well then I hope the lawyer also knows that a scholarship can be revoked at anytime. Hope Dunnachie is prepared for that scenario. The fact that he retained an attorney is bothersome enough and it wouldn't bug me in the least if he was removed from the team.
on July 25,2012 | 01:39PM
Mallory wrote:
on July 25,2012 | 04:29PM
ukillingme wrote:
Nice knowing you Alex
on July 25,2012 | 01:40PM
FM wrote:
were you wrongly arrested? do you have a legitimate legal argument? okay, innocent until proven guilty, you get your day in court, and don't have to go directly to jail. but you know you messed up as a student-athlete. take your medicine like the team leader you are supposed to be. if you avoid suspension on this technicality, ncaa may punish the whole university.
on July 25,2012 | 01:49PM
gobows wrote:
Dont suspend him........CUT HIM!....DONE....FINISH!.....
on July 25,2012 | 02:07PM
olos73 wrote:
No, just let him pick up the kicking tee after kickoffs.
on July 25,2012 | 06:44PM
Kekepania wrote:
Stevie Wonder concert cancelled, Jim Donovan cancelled as AD. Dunnachie has gotta be cancelled too!
on July 25,2012 | 02:12PM
LAX2HNL wrote:
yah...cut the guy. the lawyers need to stay out of this kind of stuff.
on July 25,2012 | 02:14PM
yskeulb wrote:
So he sits on the bench, same thing.
on July 25,2012 | 02:25PM
eastside808 wrote:
What a silly idea of disregarding the disciplinary action instituted by the coach. How about pulling the guy's scholarship already and move on. This guy is a loser just by his actions.
on July 25,2012 | 02:27PM
Spear wrote:
All y'all know he might NOT have been DUI ... Right? ...That is what court is all about.
on July 25,2012 | 02:27PM
olos73 wrote:
Might not have a DUI, but his mug shot surely shows red, blood shot eyes. Or, maybe he had that because he was crying.
on July 25,2012 | 06:46PM
false wrote:
False2: Coach Chow can just use him as a tackling dummy in practice and sit him on the bench for 4 games.
on July 25,2012 | 02:33PM
gunfunit wrote:
if dunnachie won't man up to his mistake, he ain't worth keeping...he's trying to have his cake and eat it too.
on July 25,2012 | 02:34PM
badcard36 wrote:
Sounds like a good strategy to get Alex off on a technicality while maintaining the apperance of Chow having no choice but to accept that the pre-season All-MWC punter remains on the team. Pretty ingenious. Only makes Alex and his attorney look bad...for a little bit. Just my take on it.
on July 25,2012 | 02:36PM
olos73 wrote:
Can't be All-MWC punter if he's sitting on the bench. Hiring a lawyer screwed his chances.
on July 25,2012 | 06:48PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Chow doesn't have to suspend him, just don't play him and all he'll be doing is taking up space and somebody's scholarship, and that's going to make him real popular with the other guys on the team. With Penn State having a garage sale, there's going to be a lot of talent available.
on July 25,2012 | 02:40PM
bobbob wrote:
yep looking at penn's kicker as we speak
on July 25,2012 | 04:10PM
caloha wrote:
ok then. kick him off the team and revoke his scholarship. cunney is trying to be too cute.
on July 25,2012 | 02:42PM
inverse wrote:
First Chow needs to get the starting punter from Penn State, and if Dunnachie is either found guilty or pleads no contest for his drunk driving arrest, then revoke his scholarship and kick him off the team. Now is NOT the time to do the 'Christian thing' of forgiveness. If Chow is serious about turning UH around into team that is consistently competitive like Boise State, he has to show his players he means business. You get the feeling some of the current players hate or do not respect Chow, not for replacing Macmuffin, rather for firing almost all of the assistant coaches that these current players respected and got attached to like Miano, who got fired by Chow. No one can expect miracles the first year as head coach, however if he does gain full control of his team, and by the fact 3 current UH players have already been arrested for drunken driving, doubtful if Chow can turn the team around, even 3 or 4 years from now.
on July 25,2012 | 03:16PM
BO0o07 wrote:
"The way I read the rule, it is mandatory that if you are going to suspend someone you've got to do it within 72 hours, no ifs, ands or buts." I'm not even close to being an outhouse lawyer but suspending within 72 hours is like saying the player is guilty before going to court. Any violation of the code of conduct for the student athlete was made by Dunnachie, not UH.
on July 25,2012 | 03:03PM
puuloke wrote:
Sad, sad situation. Dunnachie probably learned this behavior from his previous coach. UH now has a coach that will set a better example
on July 25,2012 | 03:04PM
haleiwalad1 wrote:
What the....a little premature to start legal action before the 'injury' don't cha think?? Looks like an attorney looking for some billable hours. Doesn't speak well for the legal profession to be 'advocating' before there's a need. Makes you wonder about Alex, doesn't it. Does he want to be an athlete or just another drunk?
on July 25,2012 | 03:14PM
inverse wrote:
correction: "...if he(Chow) does NOT gain full control of his team,..
on July 25,2012 | 03:18PM
akuman808 wrote:
Letting the legal process play out is what coach Chow has chosen to pursue. This attorney is known for tactics like he has echoed. Now, I'm sure the Penn State punter would be welcome should he decide to transfer to UH in the not to distant future. Aloha means goodbye, Alex!
on July 25,2012 | 03:32PM
inverse wrote:
You snooze you lose when it comes to picking up top Penn State players as online stories already have coaches inquiring and some actually visiting the Penn State campus to woo Penn State players to leave and play someplace else. If Chow is serious about obtaining Penn State players, he would have at least have an assistant coach fly out there now and make UH's interest known for Penn St players they think will greatly help UH. If any mainland punter is concerned UH is "to far" for the NFL to notice them they can drop names like McBriar or Jason Elam who both played for Hawaii and later did quite well in the NFL
on July 25,2012 | 04:12PM
cunfuzd4 wrote:
Demo's already out there.
on July 25,2012 | 05:48PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Bring your lawyer in son and it will be the end of you. For sure. 100 percent.
on July 25,2012 | 04:25PM
gobows wrote:
how good is the Penn St punter? he may not be worth the trouble. I'd dont think most teams would be raiding Penn St for a punter. ya think?
on July 25,2012 | 04:28PM
Smiley7 wrote:
There are consequences for actions be it good or bad. Part of being an adult is being accountable for your actions and accepting whatever the outcome will be. Coach Andrade got rid of the best athlete on the team because he was a disruption to the "Team" which was more important than one individual. Alex is definitely not the best athlete on the team and his release will not in the at least affect them. Sometimes you learn from your mistakes other times you try to find blame in everyone else. Auwe!
on July 25,2012 | 05:53PM
ehowzit wrote:
on July 25,2012 | 05:59PM
connie wrote:
On the job training for Coach Norm Chow. Difference with the baseball team (knowing to suspend a player within 72 hours) probably because Coach Trapasso has been at the UHawaii for 11 years. Head Coach experience counts. Student, or in this case student/athlete conduct, and due process cannot be ignored. We learned that from (the late) Terry Whitaker's case.
on July 25,2012 | 06:18PM
zoomzoom65 wrote:
Give me. Break! Take responsibility for your actions. If you want to be treated as a adult, act like one. Grow up, Dunnachie!
on July 25,2012 | 06:22PM
hvagd1 wrote:
There's no "i" in "team". Dump the prima donna. Man up and face the consequences. Norm should be MADD.
on July 25,2012 | 06:29PM
truelies wrote:
From what I understood is Alex is NFL material so wonder if he cares or will just declare eligible for draft .
on July 25,2012 | 06:34PM
NITRO08 wrote:
Lots of judge and jury on this blog, hate to see them get CAUGHT FOR DUI. I thought this was AMERICA!
on July 25,2012 | 06:48PM
olos73 wrote:
Yeah, but Dunnachie is Australian. That's why during RIMPAC, their training ship is at Aloha Tower instead of Pearl Harbor with all the other nations ships. They no like listen. They like break rules.
on July 25,2012 | 07:25PM
Bothrops wrote:
Actually the ships at Aloha Tower were from New Zealand (kiwis). I admit they all look alike but kiwis don't like being confused with their convict neighbors to the North.
on July 25,2012 | 08:55PM
ahi1pfb wrote:
His lawyer is risking Dunnachie being kicked off the team which is totally within Norms powers as head coach.
on July 25,2012 | 06:51PM
NITRO08 wrote:
I don't think so Alex said Chow suspendered him for the season already. So that's why the lawyer.
on July 25,2012 | 07:03PM
Molokaiheart wrote:
This all comes from his parents advice. What student athlete would be able to afford to hire an attorney to challenge the schools athletic programs policy. Parents should have spent more time with their child instead of throwing money to correct the bad behavior.
on July 25,2012 | 07:27PM
Jca43 wrote:
Dislike this punter even more.
on July 25,2012 | 09:18PM
cabbagesandkings wrote:
Good job, Alex. You may have just taken away Chow's option to suspend you. You know he has other options, right? Options that are more severe than suspension --- options that are probably looking really good right about now? Manual says "If you are to be suspended, written notification of the suspension will be provided by the Athletics Director within 72 hours after he or she has been notified of the offense." Reportedly, Chow hasn't decided what to do with him yet. It makes sense to me that the rule only applies once whoever is making the decision has decided that yes, the athlete is to be suspended. As such, the 72 hour notice would not be required since Chow has not decided yet if he is "to be" suspended. Once it is decided , then the 72 hour notice applies. Otherwise, Donovan will need to provide notice to all student athletes who face even a remote chance of suspension. No?
on July 25,2012 | 10:30PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Reinstate him tomorrow. Suspend him again the day after. Give him written notice the next day.
on July 25,2012 | 11:15PM
shelton wrote:
He's good but Chow has to treat him like everyone else.... lawyer's stuff is bull... UH has to back up Chow...tough love!
on July 26,2012 | 12:32AM
jckailua1979 wrote:
it seem everyone is sooooo quick to talk - suspension.... so quick to jump on the band wagon to "trash talk" and they forget the good side. Even though Coach Chow is new, why not let the coach, players, and UH Admin work it out first. Then if you like, talk, until then buy your season ticket - THEN, you can talk...
on July 27,2012 | 05:56PM
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