Proof lacking to warrant gambling probe
HONOLULU -- An anonymous letter has raised allegations that Hawaii football players are involved in a point-shaving scheme, but police said Tuesday that they don't have enough information to launch an investigation.
University president M.R.C. Greenwood said in a statement that the school immediately alerted Honolulu police and the NCAA when the admissions office received an anonymous letter Nov. 3, accusing unnamed players of intentionally playing poorly to affect the final score as part of a gambling scheme.
Greenwood said she and board of regents chairman Eric Martinson met with Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha to offer the university's full cooperation.
Honolulu police said they became aware of the allegation in early November but "at this time there is not enough information to open a criminal investigation."
On Wednesday after practice, Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin said he won't discuss the allegations and referred questions to university spokeswoman Lynne Waters.
When asked whether the university or NCAA would investigate regardless of what police decided, Waters said she couldn't immediately comment.
Earlier, Waters declined to say whether the anonymous letter was referring to current members of the football team or incidents alleged to have happened in previous years.
In a statement Wednesday, the NCAA expressed its concern over the allegations but did not address whether it would investigate.
"We are extremely concerned by the point-shaving allegations involving University of Hawaii football student-athletes and have been in contact with the school since early November," the NCAA said. "We take any allegation of point shaving very seriously as it is a crime that threatens two core NCAA principles -- the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport."
When asked about preparing for Saturday's home game against Tulane, McMackin said the team has faced challenges before.
"It's just another form of adversity," he said. "I really believe in these guys. I love these players, I love the coaches, and a lot of people are going through adversity in our world. I'm a teacher. I've had to teach through adversity to the team more than I've had to (in the past)."
Warriors receiver Jeremiah Ostrowski said the allegations won't affect the team's play.
"Individually, it has nothing to do with any of us as players," he said. "We all know that we aren't a part of it, so really it's no distraction. We just have to maintain focus."
Expectations were set high for the Warriors when they were picked first in the Western Athletic Conference coaches' preseason poll. They have struggled to 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the WAC and enter Saturday's home game against Tulane on a three-game losing streak.
Hawaii needs to win its final two regular-season games to qualify for the Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. The Warriors host BYU on Dec. 3.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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