- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 23, 2011

HONOLULU (AP) - University of Hawaii coach Greg McMackin told reporters after Wednesday’s practice that he’s been asked not to comment on allegations that some players have been involved in point-shaving.

The university said Tuesday the admissions office received an anonymous letter Nov. 3 accusing unnamed players of intentionally playing poorly to affect the final score as part of a gambling scheme. Honolulu police and the NCAA were notified after the university received the letter, but police have said there isn’t enough information for a criminal investigation.

McMackin directed questions to university spokeswoman Lynne Waters, who wouldn’t comment Wednesday on whether the university would conduct a probe. On Tuesday, she declined to say whether the anonymous letter referred to current members of the football team or incidents alleged to have happened in previous years.

Also on Wednesday, the NCAA said it was “extremely concerned” by the allegations and has been in contact with the school since early this month.

“We take any allegation of point shaving very seriously as it is a crime that threatens two core NCAA principles _ the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport,” a statement said.

When asked about preparing for Saturday’s home game against Tulane, McMackin said the team has faced challenges before.

“It’s just another form of adversity,” he said. “I really believe in these guys. I love these players, I love the coaches, and a lot of people are going through adversity in our world. I’m a teacher. I’ve had to teach through adversity to the team more than I’ve had to (in the past).”

Warriors receiver Jeremiah Ostrowski said the allegations won’t affect the team’s play.

“Individually, it has nothing to do with any of us as players,” he said. “We all know that we aren’t a part of it, so really it’s no distraction. We just have to maintain focus.”

The Warriors won 10 games in 2010 but have five wins and six losses this year with two games left in the regular season. The Warriors were 5-3 overall and tied for second place in the Western Athletic Conference at 3-1 when UH received the letter.

They’re 3-7-1 against the point spread and have failed to beat the spread in nearly two months. The team hasn’t beaten the spread since its win at Louisiana Tech on Oct. 1. Warriors are 0-5-1 against the spread in last six games.

Hawaii needs to win its final two regular-season games to qualify for the Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl. After Saturday’s Tulane game, the Warriors host BYU on Dec. 3.


Associated Press freelancer Kyle Sakamoto contributed to this report.

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