Defensive tackle Ka‘aumoana Gifford is smart, witty and a pretty good football player. His grandfather, who is quite an entertaining gentleman, inducted me into the Zipper Club, and after practices, we show off our zipper-looking scars from cardiac bypass surgeries.
But even smart, witty, pretty good football players with cool grandfathers make mistakes. The thing is Gifford made the same mistake three times. And although his violation of team rules did not involve anything criminal or academic — heck, it didn’t even involve anyone else — it still was another lesson not learned. This time, the school issued a suspension for the season. The Warriors also rescinded Gifford’s football scholarship.
The hope is that Gifford will grow from this and eventually fulfill his potential as a player and student. But for now, the Warriors are without a good player in a position that needs good players, and Gifford is without the sport he loves.