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2 UH football players arrested

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    Defensive tackles Kennedy Tulimasealii (right) and Ka‘aumoana Gifford (left) were arrested this morning.

Defensive tackles Kennedy Tulimasealii and Ka‘aumoana Gifford face suspension — and possible expulsion — from the University of Hawaii football team following their arrests this morning.

Tulimasealii, 21, was arrested on accusations of two counts of misdemeanor domestic abuse and one count each of harassment and resisting arrest. He also is accused of two counts of contempt. His bond was set at $5,650.

Gifford was arrested on an accusation of obstruction. His bond was $500.

They were arrested at 6 a.m. at their McCully Street home.

The UH student-athlete code of conducts recommends suspension from team-related activities following misdemeanor arrests. If suspended, they will be allowed to remain on scholarship and attend classes.

UH head coach Nick Rolovich was notified of the arrests shortly before the start of this morning’s spring practice. Rolovich told the Star-Advertiser he needed to review the police report and meet with athletic director David Matlin before deciding on an action.

Tulimasealii is considered the Rainbow Warriors’ top defensive lineman. Gifford was expected to be in the playing rotation this season.

“It’s a bad deal for all the good this team has done,” Rolovich said. “For a couple guys to make their bad decision without thinking about the future of this football team and their teammates, it’s a sad deal.”

UH spokesman Derek Inouchi said in a statement, “We are in the process of gathering all the information, while keeping in mind the rules and policies of this university and athletic department.”

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  • What are you thinking Kennedy?!?!?! You supposed to be the MAN this coming season….. What a waste… He could’ve gone Pro’s after next season for crying out loud…. ONE WORD…..Waste.
    and rhone….yes Allie’s gonna love it very much…

        • Like pohaku mentioned, the NFL takes accusations of domestic abuse very seriously. Case in point: according to the NFL Arrest-Database: an NFL player doesn’t even have to be convicted for a team to release him. Such a player is often released the day after, or in some cases the same day that a player was accused of domestic violence.

        • According to the NFL Player Arrest Database, a player does not even have to be convicted before a team releases him. Players who are merely accused of domestic violence are often released from the team the next day, in some cases, on the same day of the arrest.

      • It should also be stated that sometimes NFL teams may make an exception for their star player. For example, in 2014, a grand jury indicted Adrian Peterson on a felony charge of child abuse. While he was suspended for a handful of games at the end of the season that year, he was reinstated for the 2015 season.

        • Kennedy is good……..but he won’t be given the same consideration as an Adrian Peterson.

  • Ok…I really don’t care about anyone’s sexuality, but are their domestic charges against each other? I ask only because if so, then when cooler heads prevail, these charges could be dropped. They may not want to take the witness stand against each other. If that happens, then the other charges might only be misdemeanors and all this could blow over before summer ball starts. This doesn’t sound like something that should keep either of them out of next season. The only way I see that happening is if there is a victim in all of this who is beat up badly and the charges stick. Need more info. about this situation.

  • Unbelievable, the bad news for UH sports teams continues when you least expect it. If this ends up being true, Tulimasealii has really blown it, not only are the charges serious, but who knows if he even made bail. Also, anyone in his situation must stop and think what they are going to lose big time, possibly his senior season, kicked out of school, and rejection by the NFL. Ho boy!!

    • And what does that mean? Why don’t you elaborate on “Don’t blow it…” as you perceive it, your highness. Don’t you think UH already have steps in place to deal with these situations? This isn’t’t the first to happen, nor will it be the last. Before jumping on Roll or anyone else, why don’t you let the legal process to work out or are you so unfamiliar with “innocent till proven guilty” Guess, in your case ( and few others here), it’s ignorant till proven otherwise.

        • I think you are right unless the victim disappears, meaning she is not in the court room at the start of the trials. Best scenario , hire good attorney, offer pay out, have her go to the mainland or PPG and no come back forward 2 years. Lots PIs work for good attorneys know how system works. If not he is sunk. If convicted.. cannot even by o info military, they won’t touch him.

  • If they are guilty of the charges they should both be out the door. Rolo don’t need this kind of distraction in his first year as coach. If they decide to keep them they should loose their scholarships.

  • I applaud Coach Rolo for his honest comment rather then making excuses – regardless of the facts and outcome…this kind of thing affects the whole team and program…bummer…but they’ll have to carry on regardless.

  • Might not trigger automatic suspension since first time abuse of a family member is a misdemeanor and not a felony. Believe other charges are also not felonies but misdemeanors as well.

    • Doesn’t matter. Disciplinary measures will be based on the school’s code of conduct; per a statement released by Rolovich this afternoon. They are in the information gathering phase and will met punishment based on their (Rolo and AD Matlin) findings.

      • Does matter, felony convictions are a big thing and trigger automatic sanctions with the next step being possible expulsion. Misdemeanors have occurred before, like DUI, and they just resulted in 3 game suspensions so the kids still have a chance to redeem themselves and play. Usually, also, sanctions come AFTER convictions so if they beat the charges or the charges are dropped, minimum sanctions would be expected.

  • Lets see if Sen. Laura Thielen, Rosalyn Baker and their caucus group start demanding changes in the football program at UH. Ka’aumoana’s girlfriend made a excuse for him when shoving the cops…he is a football player indicating like it is OK to shove people…. women too.

  • K.T. YOU BLEW IT BIG TIME MAN!!!!! so disappointing to see this happen… you were set to be THE MAN next season…. if it turns out to be true it is so sad how potentially one stupid mistake can affect your (football) life forever! you were soooo close….

    • Willieboy: You pretty much expressed it all for me. I watched Kennedy play back in his Waianae high school days and the tremendous potential he possessed, thinking one day he’d end up playing on Sundays. With these incidents, that’s now highly doubtful. What a waste of God given talent.

    • Maybe not roid but over the counter stuff. He lost a lot of weight but kept his muscle tone, shredded look. Certain combination could cause behavior change…. Chemical imbalance.

      • I use to use “ripped fuel”…gave me the edge when I went to work, midnight watch…work out before shift, aggressive during shift, crash when I got home, sleep to 4 pm, then start cycle again. Kept weight off. Bad thing, always fighting with wife….. Verbal.

  • uh cannot administer the athletic program…basketball and football are national embarrassments. cancer center, manoa administration. how long will elected officials ignore this problem? probably time for more adults to be elected.

  • Dump em–who needs trash– no need for these “DIVA Athletes” that feel/think/act as though they are above the law or morals of society. Dream on– NFL, CFL, –no way–the higher leagues are getting smarter and vetting players coming up. I support UH and the coaching and ROLO and whoever–win or not–UH has to have a team that has academic + athletic standards but also integrity and ethical behavior. ROLO is going to do the right thing –why would he taint the start of his head coaching career–not worth sticking out your neck for –ask Gibb Arnold–short cuts never work–gets found out (in this case it has been exposed) and comes back to do terrible damage–Dump em and move on !!!!

  • No one knows what happened and shouldn’t be quick to judge. All I can say with certainty is that the chemistry between the girl and Kennedy could cost him his career if it hasn’t already. If he gets passed this he should seriously rethink this relationship.

  • Well, it seems a lot of comments are coming from people quite engaged with the life of the campus or with the life of sports.

    Yeah, I love sports as a spectator and filled out my brackets for NCAA basketball and on and on.

    I also a both a taxpayer and citizen of both Hawaii and the United States of America.
    Thus, I am distressed that the football coach’s comments focused on disrespect for the fortunes of the team. What about the family member? What kind of domestic abuse occurred and to whom? Dad, romantic partner? What about the harassment charge?

    Misdemeanor offenses can be any number of things. Stupid act of shoplifting. Some kinds of trespass. Physically hurting another human is a whole other order of offense in terms of the seriousness to society and to the person harmed.

    If the domestic violence act really happened, there is no room on the team for these individuals. I would hope people have been following the issue at the national level and the need for a lot of attention and serious consequences being applied when domestic violence is the offense.

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