Rainbow Warriors return to practice field without Tulimasealii and Gifford

Rainbow Warriors return to practice field without Tulimasealii and Gifford

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Like Tuesday, Kennedy Tulimasealii and Ka'aumoana Gifford were not practicing with the Hawaii football team, and they will not be for the foreseeable future.  Head coach Nick Rolovich announced that the two defensive lineman were suspended from football-related activities indefinitely following their Tuesday morning arrests, though they will remain on scholarship and attend classes.

"They won't be here for the rest of spring ball until the pending investigation and we get more information," Rolovich said after practice.  "There are procedures and policies in place, criminal justice system and University of Hawaii athletic department, that need to take place.  We're going to move on as a football team, and further decisions will come some time in the future."

The loss of Gifford and Tulimasealii, a first-team Mountain West selection a year ago, weighed on fellow senior Ikaika Woolsey.

"Anytime you get news like that, obviously it's hard to hear," the UH quarterback said.  "You've got to move on, keep moving forward, and I feel like the guys responded well."

Like Woolsey, the coaching staff was also impressed with the way the Rainbow Warriors came out and practiced considering the distractions.

"That gives you an indication of the kind of kids we have here," defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa said.  "They want to win.  These kids are hungry to win, they're working hard to win and they're doing everything they can to win."

Now Lempa is tasked with filling the void left by two contributing members on the defensive line who combined to start 16 games last season.

"Next man up.  The next guy is going to get his opportunity.  We've got other players that we'll move in position there, and they'll have a chance to compete and be the starter."

The Rainbow Warriors return to practice on Saturday.

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