Former University of Hawaii football players and others close to the program testified on the state of the program under the direction of head coach Todd Graham at a hearing in the State Senate Hawaii Friday afternoon.
UH Athletic Director David Matlin and School President David Lassner spoke briefly and answered questions before testimony was provided virtually.
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Former Hawaii players RJ Hollis, Leonard Lee, Darryl McBride Jr., Derek Thomas, Justin Uahinui and Rod York all spoke. Much like Marie and Pastor Nofo Eletise, the parents of former offensive lineman Michael Eletise. In addition, Tina Thomas, the mother of Derek Thomas, also testified. Finally, famous Oahu lawyer Michael Green spoke.
Everyone who testified on the case via Zoom on Friday all shared concerns about the direction of the program under Graham, and how the culture of the program was gradually lost during his tenure due to the way the players were. treated by the current regime. . Common themes include disrespecting players and disagreeing with Graham and his methods.
Since the end of the 2021 season, former starters Chevan Cordeiro (San Jose State), Darius Muasau (UCLA), Jonah Laulu (Oklahoma) and Nick Mardner (multiple Power Five offers), have left school. All four signed with UH as lightly recruited high school players. Additionally, running back Dae Dae Hunter also left for Liberty.
Following testimony, Lassner says the audience was handpicked to make a point and lamented the process. Additionally, Matlin said not all that was mentioned was true, then read a prepared statement on how the team is working to resolve issues with measures like an internal steering committee in several. classes.
Graham took the floor and also spoke about what is being done to resolve some of the team’s internal issues. Senator Glenn Wakai took issue with some of Graham’s feelings based on what was said by former UH players who spoke. Graham continued to answer questions.
Matlin also received inquiries about a former UH girls’ basketball player.
Below are some updates from the meeting.
National Football’s Signing Day is scheduled to take place on February 2.