Rainbow Warriors Suspend Ka’aumoana Gifford
UH suspends Gifford for 2017 and takes away scholarship following a violation of team rules.
Suspension of Gifford to thin an in-experienced defensive line.
On Tuesday, Nick Rolovich said that defensive tackle Ka’aumoana Gifford had been suspended “due to violation of team rules.” This is the second suspension for the troubled redshirt-junior.
Last April, he was arrested on a misdemeanor obstruction charge. He also had a separate charge for leaving the scene of a minor car accident. Due to court deferrals, his record remains clean after staying out of legal trouble during a probationary period.
As reported by the Honolulu-Star Advertiser, Gifford will have his scholarship taken away but will be eligible to return to the team in 2018. While there is an opportunity to return, it is unknown if the coaching staff would welcome a return. This suspension was driven by the university and is not criminal or academic.
Even though Rolovich has made a concerted effort to bolster the depth in the trenches, this loss will hinder the line’s efforts to improve from 2016. Gifford would have been counted amongst the few with game experience to help lead a young and inexperienced defensive line group in the upcoming season.
In his career Ka’aumoana Gifford compiled 36 total tackles (15 solo), one was for a loss of yards. He also hurried the quarterback two times and broke up two passes, all of which happened during the 2015 season. Using the Havoc stat from Bill Connelly of SBNation and FootballOutsiders, Gifford compiled three in his career.
Even though his 2016 season was a step backward, his loss to the team is unfortunate. He was a promising young talent that would have been a critical part of the team’s rebuild.
Stay tuned, as later in the week we will look deeper into the defensive line.Hopefully, Jamie Tago takes what happened to Gifford to heart and stay out of trouble. The JUCO recruit was hit with a suspension earlier this year during spring camp for violating team rules. This team can ill-afford another loss along the defensive line.