Former UH player will appeal team dismissal after judge defers no-contest pleas

Local News

The lawyer for a former University of Hawaii football player is fighting to get him back on the team.

A judge granted Friday Kennedy Tulimasealii’s request to defer his no-contest pleas to assault, harassment, resisting arrest and criminal property damage.

That means if he stays out of trouble, his record will be wiped clean.

Tulimasealii was arrested in May following an argument with his ex-girlfriend, and kicked off the team in June.

A university spokesman says the school stands by its dismissal, adopting the same stance it did back then:

The code states that ‘any student-athlete convicted of or pleading guilty or no contest to a felony charge shall be permanently dismissed from the team.’ In regards to his scholarship, the code states ‘the grant-in-aid shall not be renewed for any successive academic years.’ An appeal process is available.

His lawyer, Michael Green, says with the deferral, Tulimasealii should be allowed to return to UH football.

“There is no felony conviction. He’s convicted of nothing,” Green said. “(The university says) ‘This is our story and we’re sticking to it. He’s out of school and we’re not going to give him financial aid and he can’t participate on any school teams.’ There is no conviction. This whole thing (student-athlete conduct code) is based on felony conviction.”

Green says he will appeal the university’s decision.

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