The following appears on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s breaking news.
The University of Hawaii football team has canceled spring practice and the annual spring scrimmage, head coach Todd Graham confirmed on Thursday.
The first of the 15 spring practices was set to set to begin on March 27.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school suspended practices and team-related workouts through May 15, the last day of UH’s spring semester.
“The main focus is the health, safety, and well being of our student-athletes,” Graham said. “Second is their academics. That they’re performing and progressing toward graduation, and doing what we’re being instructed to do by the officials to make sure we’re safe and taking care of each other, and hoping this thing will pass quickly.”
By appointment, players are able to receive treatment in the athletic department’s athletic-training facility. Academic advisers are available through online communication, telephone calls or by appointment.
Graham said the coaches are in daily online or telephone communication with the players and their families.
“We can’t have spring practice, but we can still send them things through video where they can watch installations, and learn football, and study football,” Graham said.
Graham said he hopes his players can serve as role models during this situation.
“I tell our players you represent this great state, you represent this university,” Graham said. “It’s important we model the discipline that it takes to carry out the plan. … My own son is 18, and I’ve had to get on him about it. ‘Hey, this is a serious situation. Don’t ignore this. It’s important. A lot of people think this is not affecting them. It is. (If you get infected) you can infect others. You need to look after other people.’ The bottom line is we have to be disciplined in our approach to how we respond to leadership and the plan we’ve been given. We want to be an example to the community when it comes to that.”