Spring break: Lower Campus

damienNot even a state holiday could interrupt safety Damien Packer’s workout schedule.

“I’m focused,” said Packer, who is completing his second year at UH. “I’m going to make this happen.”

Spring training opens on Tuesday, and Packer hopes to earn an expanded role on defense and special teams. His ultimate wish? “Hopefully, I can get a scholarship after this spring,” Packer said.

Packer, who was raised on the Big Island,  relies on financial aid, student loans and his mother’s generosity to pay for tuition and living expenses. Angela Packer is a single mom who teaches at Keeau Middle School during the day and works second — and third — jobs at night and weekends.

“She sacrificed her whole life to help me get an education,” Packer said. “She really helps me out. I really want to repay her. I want to get a scholarship so she doesn’t have to worry.”

Packer said he tries to live frugally. Nearly every meal involves tuna.

“Tuna and rice … tuna and bread … sometimes just tuna right out of the can,” Packer said. “I eat a lot of tuna because it’s cheap.”

He said he bought a moped at an extreme discount from a friend. He said a $3 fill-up can last three weeks.

Last year, head coach Norm Chow implemented a rule that a walk-on needs a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 to remain on the active roster. Packer’s cumulative GPA is 3.6.

“You have to sacrifice to play the game I love and go to the school I love,” Packer said. “I could have gone to a smaller school (on the mainland). But it’s always been my dream to play here. It’s a struggle, but you’ve got to sacrifice now for the bigger things later.”


  1. Ballpicker March 27, 2014 3:23 am


    Good luck is made not given. Mr. Packer is what the Warriors need. Imua!

  2. Ballpicker March 27, 2014 3:28 am

    All that pastrami talk got me thinking , why not Subway’s version. You can make it how you want. I know its not New York or Chicago but hey its a 12 incher. 🙂 Have a great morning and day. Good morning DPK.
    Good morning to Mr. Tsai.


  3. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 3:29 am

    Imua walk-ons! We may not get as much playing time or pub, but we are decidely more handsome……

  4. Haleakala March 27, 2014 4:40 am

    Damien and his Mom are hard workers. All the best to them.

  5. Pu'uwai March 27, 2014 4:58 am

    Aloha kakahiaka.

    Mr. Packer is a great example of true dedication. Kudos to his mother’s sacrifice as well.

    Imua Rainbow Warriors!!!

  6. tommui March 27, 2014 6:21 am


    God Bless, Mr. Packer!

  7. whitey March 27, 2014 6:26 am

    good morning tsaikos

  8. whitey March 27, 2014 6:26 am

    d1, good morning and time to hi ho hi ho

  9. whitey March 27, 2014 6:33 am

    somehow it does not surprise me about what Damien and his mom are doing because that is what almost all the parents and kids did to make it through college when we lived on the plantation. Damien’s mom is truly an old school parent who believes that she can give her son a better life if he finishes college. I bow to them and wish them well.

  10. hossana March 27, 2014 7:09 am

    Geezus, my heart goes out to Damien and his mom for the sacrifices they have made…..wish there was some way we could help out Damien with a special fund or send in something w/o breaking NCAA rules and regulations……

  11. Hilo-Warrior March 27, 2014 7:10 am

    Way To Go Damien! Way to represent Keaau. Were all Supporting you no matter where were at man.

  12. al March 27, 2014 7:16 am

    great job Damien!

  13. al March 27, 2014 7:17 am

    tommui…i’ll see you at teddy’s bigger burgers on beretania at 1130.
    anybody else?

  14. Buffoman March 27, 2014 7:19 am

    Being a kid (old guy now) of a single mother who raised more than one boy alone, I can see how Mrs. Packer has sacrificed to raise her son. Folks like her and my mom are real heroes. They did it the absolute hard way; their way, no government assistance.

    I remember a lot of hand me downs, one pair of shoes for a school year, recapped tires for the only car we had in the entire time growing up, lots of tuna casserole, xchange orangeade and a whole lot of time going to the park (free entertainment).

    That young man seems to understand the sacrifices his mom makes to help him and it appears that he is living up to his end of the deal (good grades, a terrific attitude and a dedicated athlete).

  15. whitey March 27, 2014 7:24 am

    buffoman, xchange orangeade and play time at the park, yeeeessssshhhh. now that brings back memories.

  16. old808 March 27, 2014 7:30 am

    Boy didn’t we all drink xchange orangeade back in the day. I was just talking to a friend last week about xchange because he used to sell it to the stores.

  17. 3-Prong March 27, 2014 7:39 am

    Any new good eateries in Kahului/Wailuku area? Working on Maui today. Don’t want to end up at Kohos again. Hehe

  18. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 7:41 am

    Aloha all–So, here are some of my pithy thoughts on Northwestern NLRB case, that dropped yesterday:

    The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday that a group of Northwestern football players were employees of the university and have the right to form a union and bargain collectively.

    For the last 50 years major college sports have been based on the premise idea of the student-athlete; that is players receiving scholarships to pay for their education in exchange for competing for their respective university. Peter Ohr, the regional N.L.R.B. director reversed all of that yesterday.

    In short, he ruled that Northwestern’s scholarship football players should be eligible to form a union based on a number of factors, including the time they devote to football . Mr. Ohr deemed the current dynamic as basically a contract for compensation. “It cannot be said that the employer’s scholarship players are ‘primarily students,’ ” the decision said.

    The more germane and relevant context to all of this is the fact that television contracts for the new college football playoff system is worth $7.3 billion over 10 years, and the current deal to broadcast the men’s basketball tournament is worth $10.8 billion over 14 years.
    It also sharpens the posit of whether N.C.A.A. should modify its rules on how athletes are compensated. One should note, that collective bargaining at public universities is governed by state law, not the N.L.R.B., and thus this decision is not applicable to state universities, only private ones…e.g. Stanford , SMU, Rice, Tulane, etc.

    Northwestern will no doubt appeal, in a process that could take at least several months.
    The N.C.A.A. was not a party to the labor proceeding, but was predictably very dissapointed and planning its next move in rebuttal.

    The ruling centered not on the treatment of players, but on the university’s relationship to them. “Just because they’re a good employer doesn’t mean they’re not an employer,” said Tim Waters, the political director for the United Steelworkers, a union that has worked on rights for college athletes for more than a decade. Thus, we enter the legal forum, where looking like a duck, acting like a duck, and smelling like a duck, well, the next thing you know, your friends are calling you Daffy.

    It was sharly noted that Northwestern football reported $235 million in revenue from 2003 to 2012, and that players are recruited for their athletic ability, not their academics. Personally, the distinction from this case versus prior cases, that on the surface seemed similar are was that ruling cites multiple factors in concluding that the scholarship football players at Northwestern are employees: that they perform services for the benefit of their employer and receive compensation (in the form of a scholarship) in exchange, and that scholarship players are “subject to the employer’s control in the performance of their duties as football players.”

    Ohr also differentiated the case of Northwestern’s football players from those of graduate teaching assistants at Brown University (in which the NLRB ruled for the university in 2004) because “the players’ football-related duties are unrelated to their academic studies unlike the graduate assistants whose teaching and research duties were inextricably tied to their graduate degree requirements.

    It should also be noted, that the players have said they’re not seeking a salary. But their immediate goals for collective bargaining are significant: increasing scholarships and coverage for sports-related medical expenses, minimizing the risk of traumatic brain injury through measures like reduced contact in practice, improving graduation rates with help from an “educational trust fund,” and securing due process rights.

    Finally, again the ruling applies only to private colleges, so athletes at public institutions would have to petition at the state level should they seek to unionize. But if the full board affirms the regional decision, its basis could ultimately be used by athletes at other universities as grounds to seek unionization.

  19. Ipu Man March 27, 2014 7:47 am

    Hey, Damien Packer, try tuna fish S.O.S. on toast. Mmmmm good. Just mix it with can of cream of mushroom soup, add frozen vegetables if you can afford it. Hope you get drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

  20. Ipu Man March 27, 2014 7:49 am

    Are fb scholarship players eligible for food stamp assistance?

  21. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 7:53 am

    3 Prong–Kihei Cafe—Crazy loco cafee, crazy monster loco moco. Caution, you might need a driver afterwards.

  22. chopsueyboy March 27, 2014 8:06 am

    Yes, ground beef on toast is ordered as SOS at Ft. Shafter Bowling Alley.
    Frequently not showing on menu, but ask for it, and sooooooooo cheap too.

  23. tommui March 27, 2014 8:15 am

    Boolakanaka # 18

    Thank you for the summation.

  24. Sean March 27, 2014 8:19 am

    Good luck Mr. Packer, you will be rewarded for your hard work and perseverance.

  25. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 8:25 am

    23–Counselor, once a counselor, always a counselor.

  26. HawaiiMongoose March 27, 2014 8:33 am

    The problem with the NLRB’s Northwestern decision is that it is premised on the notion that the services performed by the athletes are for the “benefit of the employer”. The reality is that, nationally, university athletics are subsidized by universities and not the other way around. Go check out the college athletics database at this link:


    There are athletic budget statistics provided for 227 public universities. The statistics include something called “subsidy” which is the amount of money that the schools themselves and/or their state governments and/or their students (via student fees) are contributing to balance the athletic budget. There are exactly 6 of the 227 — SIX — with a subsidy of zero. Only those six universities are earning a financial benefit from athletics. The rest are literally paying to play.

    The reality is that almost everywhere, the big bucks earned by college football and basketball are not benefitting the university financially, but instead (after covering football and basketball expenses) are being plowed into the non-revenue sports. The millions and millions of dollars earned from TV networks that are paying to broadcast college football and basketball are not making the universities rich, rather they are paying for scholarships and coaches and facilities for the baseball teams, the softball teams, the soccer teams, the golf teams, the tennis teams, the track teams, the gymnastics teams, the swimming and diving teams, the water polo teams, the hockey teams, the skiing teams, and (except at UH where Wahine volleyball makes money) the volleyball teams. And thanks to Title IX, the greatest beneficiaries of the entire system have been female athletes.

    In the end, either the NLRB or the courts will figure out that the Northwestern football players aren’t sweating and suffering to make the university rich. They’re doing it to give the Northwestern softball players the same opportunity to sweat and suffer. And in the process, both the football players AND the softball players are getting a free education in the deal. IMHO that’s not an injustice.

  27. jm2375 March 27, 2014 8:35 am

    Good morning Tsaikos!

    Hope all your hard work pays off, Mr. Packer.
    Isn’t it a shame that a public school teacher must work 2-3 jobs in order to send her child to college?

    Congrats to the Wahine on their wins yesterday. Nice to go into conference play on a good note.

    Counselor Boola, thanks for da info.

  28. Ipu Man March 27, 2014 8:36 am

    Also S.O.S. on rice is oh so good…so I guess it is S.O.R?

  29. jm2375 March 27, 2014 8:38 am

    Ipu Man – used to make that in college when the dorm cafeterias were closed (e.g. Spring Break, Easter Break, Thanksgiving Break) and I was stuck at school.

  30. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 8:41 am

    Guud Morning Tsaikos…bootiful day.

    ballpicker..only can say go try one teddy’s pastrami and swiss and compare. they got um with one burger mix too but… pastrami is pastrami a burger is a burger. if you like both den get one each…lol

  31. al March 27, 2014 8:43 am

    ipu man…had a lot of those in my days.

  32. al March 27, 2014 8:45 am

    how about a sardine sandwich because it was half the price of tuna.

  33. 3-Prong March 27, 2014 8:47 am

    Thanks boo, Kalama a little too far though. Urban Spoon pics on the place seem to confirm your recommendation.

  34. 3-Prong March 27, 2014 8:48 am

    Sardines and onions were a college pupu staple.

  35. al March 27, 2014 8:48 am

    paradise market (best filipino food)

  36. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 8:49 am

    26– Mongoose, while the numbers for revenue I cited are large, in the end, it is not what is compelling the legal folks at the NLRB. Rather, I think what is more distinct to this case, if that football is so divergent and in contrast to the inherent and intrinsic features of a University. While they certainly have a profound added-value, and thus, if is much easier to make the theoretical legal leap, that players look like contract employees rather than essential members of the institution.

  37. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 8:49 am

    sardine nitsuke

  38. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 8:51 am

    33…Buddah the thing that confirms the recommendation, was I didn’t have to eat for almost two days afterwards. This thing had, 3 eggs, 2 hamburger steak, teri chicken and beef, with kalua pig and mac salad……..

  39. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 9:01 am

    As the case unfolds, it’ll be a really interesting decision. Negotiations will take a huge amount of $’s. Asking student athletes only to pay dues? Full scholie, partial scholie, same bennies, non-scholie student athlete…me see a lot of $’s to be made by some peeps.

  40. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 9:02 am

    boola…you doing it again…da opu is starting to make noise..

  41. al March 27, 2014 9:05 am

    14…I resemble that.

  42. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 9:17 am

    41–So North Shore, I was on Maui doing some business when I ate this, I think it was like close to 12 noon, and I literally woke up the next morning, having not anything in the meantime, and felt like I still full.

  43. Stephen Tsai March 27, 2014 9:18 am

    I think it’s going to get worse for UH students, too.
    Isn’t tuition going to go up another 7 percent until … well, forever?
    If it were based on the original fee, it might not be so bad. For instance, if tuition were $100, the increases would be $107, $114, $121, $128, and so forth.
    Instead, the increase is added to each new tier. So the scale goes: $107, $114.49, $122.50, $131.01, and so forth.
    UH officials said they won’t halt the increase phase and as consolation, hey, they point out the amount of financial aid has increased. Translation: Dammit, we need more money and we’re going to get it from the students or government assistance.
    I know they always say UH is relatively “inexpensive” compared to other universities. But we’re on an island, and UH is the only state university here.
    And that’s why parents work two jobs.

  44. Stephen Tsai March 27, 2014 9:29 am

    Re: Northwestern
    Disclosure: I like unions. I’m a union member. I’m very supportive of it. And because I’m a peon who will never own a company, I’ll always be a union member.
    I do like how Northwestern players are seeking improved conditions, particularly medical, in attempts to form a union.
    The only concern — and please set me straight if I’m off base — but the way it is now, there is protection for workload (20 hours per week), medical coverage and equal treatment for all scholarship players. For instance, at UH, if you’re the starting quarterback or the backup long-snapper on scholarship, you receive the same benefits (tuition, room/board, bagels and nuts) as your other teammates on scholarship.
    The presumption is that in a free market, everyone is paid what you’re worth. Now there is no salary cap in the NCAA, but yet there is (the amount of money a school can spend on its program). So if everyone is an employee, it doesn’t mean everyone can be paid the same. That means it will be great for the starting QB, not so great for the backup long-snapper. The discrepancy can be seen in, say, men’s volleyball, where one player might earn the equivalent of 75 percent of a scholarship and another will earn enough money to cover only books.
    It should be interesting to see how this plays out.

  45. Derek March 27, 2014 9:36 am

    Canned tuna, a little bit of shoyu and sugar and fry it. Eat with hot rice. Ono. We even at it when we were kids. Mr. Packer, a good feel story. No matter what, he will be successful in life. Everything he earns will be from his hard work, not something that is given to me.

  46. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 9:37 am

    not sure what happens after college ball is over but we’ve had some athletes who “retired” because of medical situations. who covers them…they get a lifetime of medical problems after college ball and will have to seek coverage with a pre-existing condition. I have a couple of friends who have sustained career ending problems due to hs and college ball. Granted the situation came up long after their playing days were over but it could be traced to the injuries suffered in specific games.

  47. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 9:39 am

    anyhoo, time to take advantage of da bootful sunshine…

  48. jm2375 March 27, 2014 9:49 am

    Was reminded of this, again, today. Please, everyone, read it carefully and absorb it fully.

    Are you a Booster?

    Boosters (referred to by the NCAA as “representatives of athletics interests”) are individuals that:
    · Participate in or have been members of Koa Anuenue or any other booster group that supports athletics;
    · Have made financial contributions to the University of Hawaii Athletics Department;
    · Have assisted in the recruitment of student-athletes;
    · Provide or have helped arrange benefits for enrolled student-athletes or their families;
    · Participated as a student-athlete of the University of Hawaii; or
    · Have been involved in promoting University of Hawaii Athletics in any other way.


  49. isleboy March 27, 2014 9:50 am

    What people don’t realize. College athletes gets unionized it will be the end of
    College Athletics was we know it. Probably end up like it is in Europe. All the professional
    teams support athletes as soon as reach 14 to 15 years old. They have youth teams that
    play competitions. Colleges in Europe are not involved in Sports leagues.

  50. jm2375 March 27, 2014 9:51 am

    If you fit into any of these groups, you are a booster. According to the NCAA, once an individual has been identified as a UH booster, that person is a booster of UH for life. UH Athletics is ultimately responsible for the actions of all boosters in relation to NCAA rules and regulations.

  51. jimmy the lock March 27, 2014 9:55 am

    Eggs are also a cheap source of protein. Mix it with the tuna.

  52. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 10:02 am

    44 ST: You bring-up an issue of parity, and its easier in football, as there are no partial scholarships–so its not like you are tyring to slice up the benefits that are derived from being part of a union.

    Again, the director of the NLRB’s Chicago office, makes on page 18 of his opinion. No matter what the NCAA wants you to think, Northwestern’s scholarship football players, he writes, “are not primarily students.” This is the thrust of their case, and the reason for his decision and support.

    In short, it comes down to the exorbitant amount of hours that are documented behind the activities for football in season.

    Players spend 50 to 60 hours a week on football during a training camp before school starts.
    They also dedicate 40 to 50 hours per week on football during the four-month season. “Not only is this more hours than many undisputed full-time employees work at their jobs, it is also many more hours than the players spend on their studies,” Ohr writes. They spend 20 hours per week in class and more doing homework, sure, but they also work on football outside of official practice time. Ohr’s equation also doesn’t seem to take into account the off season. But, he writes, it “cannot be said” that they “spend only a limited number of hours performing their athletic duties.”

    While not the crux of the case, but it provides a stark retort to the mostly fictive concept of the big-time scholar-athlete, or in much clearer words, Northwestern’s players are athletes first, students second. Throughout the decision, he recounts the ways in which team members are expected to prioritize athletics over school—for instance, by avoiding classes that might conflict with practices, even if the courses are necessary for their major. The fact that the university tries to support them with tutors and study hall requirements only underscores “the extraordinary time demands placed on the players by their athletic duties,” he writes.

    And this is at Northwestern, an institution known that has a very stout academic reputation (not Boola level, but hey a college can dream–lol) My bigger sarcastic point is that if Northwestern can’t make the case that their players are “primarily students,” who can?

    From a legal vantage this is crucial as Northwestern had argued that the NLRB should apply the test it used when it ruled in 2004 that graduate teaching assistants at Brown could not unionize. Part of the board’s reasoning, at the time, was that while TAs indeed do lots of work as instructors, they are primarily at school to learn, and teaching is one of their degree requirements. Ohr found that the Brown test wasn’t applicable, because nobody is required to play QB to earn a bachelor’s degree.

    Summarilly, Ohr’s ruling is that Northwestern’s scholarship football players really do work for pay. They are recruited largely for their football abilities; they spend an inordinate amount of time on their sport; they’re rewarded with valuable scholarships, which can be canceled; they’re subject to special rules other students aren’t; and their labor is clearly valuable to the school, which brings in millions of dollars in football-related profits.

    Thus to answer STs, concern about parity, walk-on players, who have more flexibility when it comes to balancing athletics and sports and basically play for the love, can’t unionize.

    The obvious has been formally reconginized– football players are not “primarily students.

  53. gobows March 27, 2014 10:18 am

    teachers need higher pay.

  54. SteveM March 27, 2014 10:21 am

    Good morning everyone!

    Best wishes to Damien Packer and his mom!

    I’m at home staring at a case Libby’s Vienna sausage– case of 18 cans for around $6. Like tuna, eat out of can, shoyu-sugar, etc.–even tempura style. 🙂

    RE: #13
    Can’t make it to Beretania Teddy’s at 1130 today, but thanks for the Cattle Call, Al.

  55. Da Punchbowl Kid March 27, 2014 10:37 am

    Good Morning Gangeez! 😉

    Great story about Damien and his mom… it truly packs a wallop. You can see where his mother’s dedication and work ethic have been passed onto him.

    Esquire kanaka – great post! Thanks for the info.

  56. Da Punchbowl Kid March 27, 2014 10:46 am

    Hey ballpicker!

  57. Old School Dave March 27, 2014 10:58 am

    Coach made me run gassers and had me rolling on the turf after practice for violating some bogus team rule. I’m going to contact the shop steward about this!!

  58. Old School Dave March 27, 2014 11:01 am

    Also wanted to say what a great story about Damien. With all that he’s trying to accomplish, he has a 3.6 GPA. Says a lot about the fine character of this young man and also his parent.

  59. jiminycricket March 27, 2014 11:11 am

    I am a graduate of Northwestern. I don’t normally support unions, but I fully support the NU players. I am so proud of Kain Colter. The football players don’t get a free education; they work for it by spending long hours training for football. I had a full academic ride to Northwestern; that was “free” bc all I had to do was study and keep up my grades. The football players have to work at football and study. That is not free.

    Northwestern and Stanford are the top two Division I programs with true student athletes. At NU, it’s not unusual for the football players to major in pre-med, pre-law, engineering, communications, computer science, etc. There are no basket weaving classes there. Academics are very important. My friend’s son had a golf scholarship to Stanford; when he went to school, the golf coach met him on his first day. the coach told him “You know what your priorities are? Golf, not academics.” This is at Stanford; for a non revenue sport like golf. The Coach obviously was trying to protect his own job and not looking out for the interest of the athlete. Imagine what happens to football players at lesser academic schools, especially like those in the South with big money programs.

    The NCAA and the Div I schools are raking in billions of dollars with a capital B off of the football and basketball players. Not looking out for the players. When they graduate, there is no medical coverage for all the injuries that will affect them for their lifetime; e.g., concussions, blown knees, hips, ankles, shoulders, arms, wrists, etc. Get the point? For people with ordinary jobs who get hurt on the job, they have workers compensation that takes care of them. Not so with college athletes.

    Full ride academic scholarship students can transfer schools without redshirting. If they came to a school because of a certain professor, and the professor leaves, they can leave no strings attached. Not so with football players and other athletes. If a football player signs a letter of intent and then the coach leaves the next week, the football player is stuck. Why? So the NCAA and the schools can continue to keep their monopoly intact and make its billions and punish the athlete for daring to be like a student. “You are here to play football; not be a student. You are making money for us and we are going to make it hard for you if you want to leave.” Doesn’t this sound like an indentured servant instead of a student athlete?

    You’d be naïve to think that the colleges, especially the BCS conference members, are looking at the best interests of the “student athletes”. They are looking at the tens of millions of dollars they are making. Don’t get me wrong; I think the individual coaches probably care more about them than the administration. But it is partly self preservation so they can maintain their jobs.

    I hope this unionization leads to a dismantling of the current NCAA as we know it and leads to long overdue reforms. College football has grown so big in the last two decades and everyone except the athletes have benefitted. Football coaches salaries have skyrocketed into the millions of dollars while football players cannot even accept a free meal? Or sell their autographed pictures? Or even work a side job bc there is not enough scholarship money to pay for extra food, or clothing or necessities? (They want the football player to concentrate on football!) Yet, the athletes are the source of this revenue. Something is very wrong with this picture.

    I hope Kain Colter goes down in history as college football’s Curt Flood who broke the baseball owners control over Major League baseball players as indentured servants by establishing free agency.

    Go Northwestern football players!

  60. jeezy33 March 27, 2014 11:42 am

    The only players that will get paid are sports that generate business for the University. Sorry women’s sports, tennis, etc… Basically Football and Men’s Basketball are the only sports where athletes generate business. So those athletes should be treated fairly. This has nothing to do with Title 9 so that won’t come into play at all… This is a matter of the rich going to get richer. Teams that run a successful business will be able to attract better talent.

  61. Warrior Dave March 27, 2014 12:10 pm

    Follow your dream Damien.

  62. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 12:17 pm

    To again repeat a point, I think some folks this is a money-grab, and they want to have a “salary”. But to be certain, what they are specifically asking for is the following:

    increasing scholarships and coverage for sports-related medical expenses, minimizing the risk of traumatic brain injury through measures like reduced contact in practice, improving graduation rates with help from an “educational trust fund,” and securing due process rights–period.

    Moreover, what the NLRB is saying if you treat folks, in this case students, like employees, then accordingly, they will vest the same rights as employees, that is to say, the right to collectively bargain. In achieving this status, the NLRB went to great lengths in establishing the time spent on the sport, in season as much 50 hours a week, and as well, that sports are not inherently part of the educational system, thus they are by operation and practice being essentially paid for their athletic skills.

  63. haka March 27, 2014 12:31 pm

    Question: Should the monetary equivalent of the athletic benefits then be subjected to taxation?

  64. whitey March 27, 2014 12:32 pm

    3 prong, sorry neva help, but just got back from monkey business.

  65. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 12:55 pm

    63-Depends how good your CPA is defending the benefit; that said, if we are talking under the schematic of an employee-employer, employer provided benefits are not considered taxable.

  66. Haleakala March 27, 2014 12:57 pm

    That is what the Northwestern players are saying that will be asking for. But what if unionization does take hold, do you think players from other schools will be satisfied with only those things?

  67. boolakanaka March 27, 2014 1:10 pm

    66–At present, this applies to only private universities. In as much as this builds a form of legal precedent for other college, it will be much more difficult, as public universities are governed by their respective state laws. By my count, there are only 25 private universities that participate in D1 football, so collectively, not really that many.

    By and large, the private schools have a different framework, and they would have to each, individually vote to unionize. It is hard to say, and I would not minimize the items they have chosen to highlight, as that could be a very costly items, in and of itself. I do think, if they are smart, they keep their agenda and wants concise and tight–as it legitimizes they entire effort.

  68. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 1:27 pm

    me guess that college sports are not to be defined as “amateur” athletics anymore. NLRB just defined them as “pros”..

    haka…if one is working for pay, as stated by Ohr…then subject to taxation..?
    nah, no worry da gov and leg gonna give um a break…I tink.

  69. boya_jr March 27, 2014 1:28 pm

    Great story about Damien. Reminds me of humbler days as an UH student about a decade ago. Tuna, corn bread, and peanut butter jelly sandwiches. With a meal plan, all you can eat at Hale Aloha, and I ate plenty.

  70. Hodad March 27, 2014 1:44 pm

    An old fraternity brother of mine is a well known labor lawyer in South carolina. He represents employers and SC is a right to work state. Here is his take on the ruling. Obviously he is biased in favor of employers.

    Just a few clarifying points regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (i.e. the Regional Director for Region 13’s) decision that scholarship football players at Northwestern University are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act. First, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) specifically EXCLUDES federal, STATE, and local government employees.

    Thus, this decision does not affect “State” or “public” universities such as South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina, N.C. State, Georgia, etc. It is against the law in South Carolina for a public sector entity to recognize and collectively bargain with a union. Some states, however, permit public sector entities to engage in collective bargaining with unions which could eventually affect State Universities and Colleges in those particular states. (Private schools such as Duke, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Wofford, Furman, etc. are much more likely to eventually be affected although the NLRB’s decision is limited to scholarship football players at Northwestern.) Second, this is an absurd decision, a gross distortion of the law, and just another example of extreme overreaching by the NLRB. (As union membership continues to decline nationwide, the NLRB continues to try to justify its existence by extending into areas well beyond its traditional boundaries.)

    Third, we will soon see if the Five (5) Member Panel of the NLRB which is known as “the full Board” and serves as a quasi-judicial body for this administrative agency will rule in favor or reject the decision of Region 13’s Regional Director. While I hope I am wrong, I am expecting that a majority of the full Board will uphold the decision. Northwestern would not be able to directly appeal a decision by the full Board, which would immediately direct that a union representation election be held.

    If the union wins, then Northwestern would refuse to bargain with the union, the union would file an unfair labor practice charge, and Northwestern could then challenge the election in an unfair labor practice proceeding. This could take many, many years, and would likely involve multiple federal appellate court appeals that could probably end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, there could be a legislative fix that would involve “reining in” the NLRB and its excesses. [Motivation for this post: Hearing lots of misinformation being spewed on the radio. The media has not done a good job of explaining the NLRB’s ruling, and this is an area of the law with which most people are not familiar.]

  71. BigWave96744 March 27, 2014 1:45 pm

    Jeezy, #60 maybe only at UH can you include Womens Vball.
    Would UH Baseball be included, too?

  72. Old School Dave March 27, 2014 1:49 pm

    Hope that Damien and the other walkons are getting the necessary nutrients and calories, especially during fall and the spring ball. I assume that there is no training table for walkons (common at most schools).

  73. jimmy the lock March 27, 2014 1:54 pm

    Sand Wahine sweep UCLA and USF.

  74. Shoko March 27, 2014 1:59 pm

    If I’m not a booster, I can legally bribe ($$$) athletes to play for UH.

    See, folks, there is always a loophole. Please write checks payable to me and I will make sure it goes towards recruiting.

  75. BigWave96744 March 27, 2014 2:00 pm

    Recent Big Island Walkon DB’s
    Victor “Bully” Fergustrom
    Mana Silva
    Charles Clay
    Damien Packer

  76. jm2375 March 27, 2014 2:29 pm

    Congrats to Abe Elimimian on his new position, Simon Fraser U (Canada) DC

  77. st. anthony trojan March 27, 2014 2:38 pm

    can sum one here that knows…help me out with this scenario please…..

    me takes 1oo cans of tuna n give to mr. chow or mr. jay to give away to all players…on schollie or walk on players…is that legal under ncaa current rules..??

    n in that same vain…how does the training table work there ?
    If sum one has the time please 2 explain…..

  78. jeezy33 March 27, 2014 3:20 pm

    71. I doubt Vball or Baseball make profit…. It’s the TV deals that bring in the millions…

  79. Shoko March 27, 2014 3:31 pm

    “Northwestern is not a football factory.”
    -Alex Barbour (Northwestern attorney)

    Top 25 colleges producing NFL players.
    1. Notre Dame 459
    2. USC 441
    3. Ohio State 382
    4. Oklahoma 330
    5. Nebraska 326
    6. Michigan 324
    7. Tennessee 317
    8 Penn State 311
    9. Texas 309
    10. Miami 292
    11. LSU 281
    12. UCLA 278
    13. Wisconsin 271
    14. Pittsburgh 268
    15. Alabama 267
    16. Michigan State 263
    17. Purdue 260
    18. Georgia 259
    19. Florida 255
    20. Texas A&M 249
    20. Illinois 249
    21. Washington 241
    22. Iowa 235
    23. Minnesota 234
    24. Syracuse with 228
    24. Auburn 228
    25. Arizona State 225
    25. Florida State 225

    Maybe not among the elite, but Northwestern had 173 players that were drafted up to 2013, which is above average at the DI level. In comparison, Hawaii had 69 players drafted which is probably the highest in the MW conference.

  80. PurpleMaple March 27, 2014 3:41 pm

    Collegiate sports at schools like the University of Hawaii, a state institution, will fade away unless the state legislators come to grips with the simple fact that in order to maintain a sports program, it will have to step up financially to support it. And Title IX will either have to be modified or discarded altogether because the NCAA will no longer be the ruling body – the union will be.

  81. ai-eee-soos March 27, 2014 3:57 pm

    Mark Sanchise … may sign with Iggles on Friday…


  82. cocbean March 27, 2014 4:22 pm

    Student/employee…..the real winners are going to be the lawyers and sports agents in the short term. The athletes will get increased benefits eventually but lawyers on both sides of the issue will be making their money now. Sports agents must be drooling at the possiblities the NW ruling has openned up.

  83. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 4:38 pm

    #77..me thinks 100 cans of tuna still converts to $’s..so are making a financial donation…you are a booster.
    me thinks the training table is only for scholie players…could be totally wrong though..
    iirc….downtown block party used to be held to fund training table…don’t think it’s done now.

  84. Kevin March 27, 2014 4:44 pm

    Training table costs were taken out of the schollies. Walks ons could partake but would need to pay out of pocket and its not cheap last I remember.

  85. Jellybean March 27, 2014 4:46 pm


  86. Kevin March 27, 2014 4:48 pm

    When was the NCAA the ruling body of college sports?

    Did the BCS, ESPN, and FOX SPORTS take a day off from running college athletics?

  87. SteveM March 27, 2014 4:56 pm

    ohhh… HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAT !!!

    Who is Cat?
    A former Honolulu Advertiser blog host who appeared with ST in July 2006. In those days, 30 comments on each blog was rare…but Cat figured out how to place photos in her blog, The Daily Dish. Then, 6 months later she attended an usual event where bloggers of the Warrior Beat actually went to meet in person…

    Click here to see Blog Party 1 photos by Cat.

    The comment count soared into the hundreds with new posters.

    Cat attended Blog Party 2 also, where she first published the name “Tsai-kos”. As ST explains it, the name “Tsai-kos” was coined by Princess Leila and popularized by Cat”.

    For her contributions, Cat is pictured with a camera in the Tsai-ko group caricature of March 2007 (she was a surfer too, which is why her name is on the surfboard). 🙂

  88. tommui March 27, 2014 5:22 pm


    The pastrami-hamburger – you might be better off sticking to pastrami or hamburger, not both. Company was good though.

    Thank you everyone for writing about the NU – NLRB decision.

  89. NorthShoreFan March 27, 2014 5:39 pm

    counselor…see #30..main ting good company..da grinds taste betta

  90. tommui March 27, 2014 6:32 pm

    #89 NSF – RIGHT on both counts! (#89 and #30)!

  91. gobows March 27, 2014 6:39 pm

    wahine volleyball pays for itself, has been since the stanley opened. they are the only program in the nation to do so. nebraska comes close.

    1st season the wahine played in the stanley, games started at 5pm, was $5 and all seats were general admission. the box office was terrible, they underestimated the draw of the wahine and the stanley. we would get in line to buy tickets at 445, by the time we got inside the match was in the middle of game 2.

  92. gobows March 27, 2014 6:44 pm


    correct call on the training table…don’t know if it still applies, but in the past, players that worked out could get protein shakes, walk-ons included.

  93. 3-Prong March 27, 2014 6:51 pm

    whitey: no problem, just went with old faithful Tokyo Tei shrimp tempura. Made sure to dip em good so da bugga no cut up my mout, so crispy.

    Ale House Happy Hour is a winna. $3 greenies3-7pm. Hows da food there? We neva eat.

    Home Maid manju……check.

  94. Kevin March 27, 2014 6:54 pm

    First serve is 5pm.

    You arrive only 15 minutes before to buy tickets.

    You say UH box office was ill-prepared and not expecting the large crowd.

    You know yourself the crowd will be large.

    You arrive only 15 minutes beforehand.

    *Granted missing 1.5 sets is bad, but arriving ONLY 15 minutes before hand?


  95. Moocher March 27, 2014 6:55 pm

    maybe the answer is to give a scholarship player a choice…take the scholarship or a “percentage” of revenue?

    If they take the money, then maybe that can leave more scholarships available?

    I think because a scholarship is basically a trade-off where instead of paying for school, a school will accept your “goods or services” in exchange for tuition payment…yes, it indeed does open a door for collective bargaining.

    Whatever becomes of this I wonder how this will impact high schools. 🙂

  96. al March 27, 2014 7:32 pm

    3prong…tokyo tei is safe.

    next time go pre-order choc-truffle mochi and choc-pnut butter mochi from maui chocolate specialties.

    brok’ da mout. fo sure. and da boss going be happy.

  97. el burro sabio March 27, 2014 7:38 pm

    None of this makes much sense to me.

    If players are employees and not students, doesn’t that make them professionals? How are they eligible to play if they’re professionals?

    Doesn’t this apply to all college athletes? The good counselor from the east wrote that “…they perform services for the benefit of their employer and receive compensation (in the form of a scholarship) in exchange, and that scholarship players are “subject to the employer’s control in the performance of their duties as football players.” That is true of all sports, and especially the women’s sports, for if there were no women’s scholarships football could not exist.

    Walk-ons? They are under control of the coaches almost as much if not just as much as the scholarship athletes but yet do not receive any “compensation” for their services, which unions are generally against. What happens when a walk-on takes away playing time from a scholarship athlete, is that person going to be accused of taking away work opportunities from a “union member”?

    This is just a mess, even worse than me trying to type with two uncloven hooves.

  98. al March 27, 2014 7:41 pm

    so speaking of brok mout.
    we all tried the pastrami burger at teddy’s. some ordered the bigger burger but everyone had fries. i added extra swiss on mine. the bun that they use is the real star in my opinion.

    sure enuff we all finished our combos like a good tsaiko should. even myki when wolf hers down and like the lady she is was saying she too full already (wink).

    i had my eye on their fabulous real ice cream shakes but alas i couldn ‘t muster a burp to clear some room for it. i’ll have to return soon.

    and like he did at the first christmas party, stretch shows up from out of the shadows.

  99. al March 27, 2014 7:43 pm

    too bad blog host no show.

  100. al March 27, 2014 7:45 pm


  101. myki March 27, 2014 7:52 pm

    Enjoyed a pastrami sandwich with several Tsai-kos we hand not seen for awhile. It was great touching base with them. Don’t ever miss out on the chocolate Mochi when visiting Maui. We have some in the freezer, and will enjoy them later. Hope we can have a few CCs to tide us over till the season starts. Looking forward to spring practice .

  102. whitey March 27, 2014 8:02 pm

    am glad to hear that sum of the tsaikos enjoyed a tsaiko lunch.

  103. whitey March 27, 2014 8:04 pm

    i sure hope duffer paying attention to all the talk about the chocolate mochi. hahahahaaa

  104. tommui March 27, 2014 10:16 pm

    STRETCH: you mentioned all of the debris, dirt etc at your construction site.

    There seems to be a deep sinkhole in Wahiawa per Channel 2 News this evening,

  105. leron March 27, 2014 11:45 pm

    Speaking of Northwestern:


    Can’t believe it’s been 10 years already.

  106. al March 28, 2014 1:05 am

    RIP…mr. al chase. thanks for nearly 40 years of covering sports in Hawaii.

  107. kruzen March 28, 2014 1:21 am


  108. wafan March 28, 2014 2:17 am

    Good Aloha Friday!

  109. boolakanaka March 28, 2014 3:37 am

    A question was brought yesterday regarding our discussion on whether health benefits are taxable—if there from an employer to an employee, there are usually not. However, there are greater and broader tax implications involved in this situation. It is very early on, so this is more than anything, legal begal speculation, but consider….

    Taxable income has been defined in the courts, and by the IRS, as compensation received through services that resulted in a time commitment that required a certain number of hours per week. Higgins said the time commitment put forth by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, and backed by the National College Players Association, that resulted in the NLRB qualifying the Northwestern players as employees could serve to be the exact reason that the IRS would say the players must pay taxes if they unionize.

    If Northwestern players did form a union and they were taxed, it’s not clear exactly what they would be paying tax on. If, for example, their entire scholarship was deemed taxable, the athletes would be paying at least $15,000 in federal tax alone on the $61,000-a-year scholarship. One athletic director in a major conference, who requested anonymity, speculated that the value the players received from the training table, travel and even coaching could be taxed.

    Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Service code provides that “gross income does not include any amount received as a qualified scholarship by an individual who is a candidate for a degree at an educational organization” as long as that money goes towards educational expenses. An IRS rule that was established in 1986 stated athletic scholarships are no different than financial aid or academic scholarships with respect to the tax code.

    But if the players are defined as employees, the limitation of the code could come into play. The code notes that the exclusion “shall not apply to that portion of any amounts received which represents payment for … services by the student required as a condition for receiving the qualified scholarship.”

  110. Slugger March 28, 2014 5:53 am

    ST, nice story about Damien Packer. Hope he gets a scholarship soon.

    Happy Aloha Friday, gang!

  111. whitey March 28, 2014 6:10 am

    good morning tsaikos on aloha friday

  112. whitey March 28, 2014 6:12 am

    wonda if d1 is up. ok d1, rise and shine and you know the friday routine, hi ho hi ho

  113. 3-Prong March 28, 2014 6:26 am

    Happy Aloha Friday from Paradise gang.

  114. J March 28, 2014 7:51 am

    Might have posted about this a few years ago… UCLA has a food closet open to all students. Other schools have adopted this idea…


Comments are closed.