University of Hawaii football players Jahlani Tavai and Kaiwi Chung are being held out of team-related activities while an investigation continues into their involvement in a June 9 fight at a night club, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has learned.
Tavai and Chung were arrested after being accused of misdemeanor assault following an altercation inside and outside a club on Kona Street near the Ala Moana Shopping Center.
No charges have been filed. Tavai and Chung are scheduled to answer the accusations in District Court on July 9.
According to reports, a 27-year-old man is accused of punching a former UH football player and then shoving the ex-player’s girlfriend. Tavai and Chung intervened, followed by an altercation outside the club. There reportedly were about eight people at the scene when police were called.
A report indicated the accuser did not suffer “substantial” or “serious” bodily injury.
The accuser filed a criminal complaint against Tavai and Chung. The former UH player filed a complaint against the accuser. Paul Cunney, Tavai’s attorney, said his client was justified in helping Chung, the former player, and the ex-player’s girlfriend
Cunney said that “the case, at worst, is going to be charged as a misdemeanor,” with the possibility of it being reduced to a petty misdemeanor.
During the offseason, the NCAA permits players enrolled in summer school to interact with coaches up to eight hours per week, a portion of which may involve football-related meetings and video reviews.
Tavai and Chung are enrolled in summer session and on scholarship, according to a family member.
Tavai is a middle linebacker who led the Rainbow Warriors in tackles the past two seasons. Chung was a running back last season who is moving to center.
UH policy restricts school officials from commenting on specifics of an on-going investigation. UH athletic director David Matlin said: ‘The athletic department will investigate any and all violations of our code of conduct that requires every member of our athletic department to conduct themselves in a way that reflects the core values and traditions associated with the university.”