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Coach says he wanted to send message

HONOLULU -- After threatening to pull his team from the
Hawaii Bowl if the university didn't ensure all players were
academically eligible, Hawaii coach June Jones said Tuesday he was
confident he got his message across to administrators and the
Warriors will play in the Christmas Day game.

"We're going to play the football game," Jones told Houston's KRIV-TV.

Hawaii athletics spokeswoman Lois Manin said late Tuesday she
was unaware of what Jones said in the TV interview but confirmed
that Hawaii (8-5) would play against Houston (7-5) as scheduled.

Jones said Monday he would pull his team from the bowl rather
than risk losing players to academic suspensions.

The Western Athletic Conference requires that student athletes
pass a minimum of six-credit hours in the fall semester leading up
to a postseason competition.

Last year, university officials said that because of the short
time between the posting of grades and the Christmas Day game, they
were unable to officially certify that players had met the
requirement.

After grades were submitted Dec. 28, starting quarterback Timmy
Chang was found to have been ineligible. The conference publicly
reprimanded Hawaii, suspended Chang for this year's season opener
and fined the school $5,000.

Jones said Tuesday he wanted to send a message to
administrators.

"My intent was to certainly get the attention of everybody that
somebody needs to get their grades in and we need to know where
everybody stands," Jones said.

Athletic director Herman Frazier already had said the university
was taking steps to ensure that the athletes are certified and that
grades would be checked as early as Dec. 15.