By Kevin Sweeney
Last year, Hawaii was one of the best stories of the NCAA Tournament, shocking Cal before falling in a tough battle with Maryland.
Now, it’s official that the Rainbow Warriors will get a chance for more March magic this season.
The NCAA Division 1 Committee on Infractions announced today that Hawaii will not have to serve a postseason ban for the 2016-17 season, a punishment laid down in December 2015. The committee also decreased the scholarship reduction imposed from 2 scholarships lost to 1 for the next 2 seasons.
Hawaii won their appeal on the grounds that the NCAA violations they had committed should have been punished based on standards set forth after October of 2012, which made the violations Level II-Standard violations rather than Level II-Aggravated violations.
The NCAA release on the matter can be found HERE.
However, the punishment still had an effect on this season’s team. For one, the team saw multiple key players elect to leave the program before they had exhausted their eligibility to pursue pro careers or other collegiate opportunities. It also forced the team to sit in a state of limbo all season as they awaited the results of their appeal.
Despite not having its top 8 scorers from last season’s team, Hawaii is still a factor in the wide-open Big West. They currently sit in a tie for 4th place in the conference and own an 8-7 record in conference play. The Big West Tournament will be held in Anaheim March 9-11.