HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii Tuesday afternoon said it is cooperating with the Honolulu Police Department and the NCAA after an anonymous letter surfaced accusing unnamed UH football players of taking part in point shaving.
Point shaving is the illegal act of purposefully holding down the score of a sporting event, in order to impact who will win bets against a point spread.
"Board of Regents Chair Eric Martinson and President MRC Greenwood met personally with Chief Louis Kealoha to offer UH's full cooperation with HPD's inquiry," said University of Hawaii President Dr. MRC Greenwood in a written statement.
The Honolulu Police Department says there is not enough information to open a criminal investigation. HPD released this statement Tuesday afternoon.
"The Honolulu Police Department became aware of the allegation in early November when UH officials gave a copy of an anonymous letter to the HPD. At this time there is not enough information to open a criminal investigation," the HPD statement reads.
Honolulu attorney Michael Green represented former NBA star John "Hot Rod" Williams when he was acquitted of point shaving while attending Tulane University in the mid 1980's. Green told Hawaii News Now even when point shaving has occurred it is difficult, but not impossible, to prove.
"The first way is you have to someway get an admission, either confession or admission from the person who is accused. Sometimes it's on a wire tap. Sometimes your best friend is talking to you about it and that best friend is wearing a wire," Green said.
If proven, point shaving scandals can have damaging effects.
"The coaches almost always get cleaned out. Certainly they weren't involved in this. Never have even dreamed of it, but the fact that there's a lack of discipline the university just generally cleans out the coaching staff and starts anew," Green said.
Once allegations go public, it is natural for fans to compare a team's performance against the spread and to look closely at individual player statistics, especially players in a position to impact games. But Green cautioned against jumping to conclusions.
"Don't panic and don't try to figure out if (just because) there's allegation, it must be true. And then try to figure out which player must be the one who did it. It destroys careers. It destroys lives. It destroys programs. It destroys coaches. Please don't do this," Green said. "Perhaps nothing will ever happen because it is all false. And if something does, then that will work its way through the court system," Green concluded.
The following is the entire text of the statement released by the University of Hawaii Tuesday.
Dr. MRC Greenwood, University of Hawaii President
On November 3, 2011, the UH Manoa Office of Admissions received an anonymous letter alleging "point shaving" by unnamed football players of UH football games.
Recognizing the seriousness of these allegations, UH leadership acted promptly and responsibly by immediately alerting the Honolulu Police Department and providing the letter to them.
Board of Regents Chair Eric Martinson and President MRC Greenwood met personally with Chief Louis Kealoha to offer UH's full cooperation with HPD's inquiry.
UH has alerted the NCAA about the anonymous letter and its contents and, in discussions with them, has been informed that it is "doing exactly what you need to be doing" in this situation.
Out of respect for the police investigation, UH will not comment further at this point.