- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - The University of Hawaii men’s basketball team has lost a key player a day after the firing of its head coach.

Acting head coach Benjy Taylor announced at a news conference Wednesday that all-conference forward Isaac Fotu had been declared ineligible to play, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://bit.ly/1tkMC9t) reported.

“As of right now, he’s ineligible but we’ll do a reinstatement letter and keep our fingers crossed and go from there,” Taylor said.

The Rainbow Warriors open the season on Nov. 14.

Taylor is adjusting to head coaching duties after the university on Tuesday fired head coach Gib Arnold after four seasons. The university also dismissed assistant coach Brandyn Akana. School officials did not list reasons for the dismissals.

The university earlier this year self-reported a Jan. 9 incident in which “a men’s basketball coach submitted an altered document that was essential for admissions purposes,” according to information obtained by the Star-Advertiser.

The NCAA has been investigating Hawaii since March but has not listed any possible violations.

Fotu was a first-team All-Big West Conference player as a sophomore.

“(The NCAA) should make a decision soon because they know it’s close to the season,” Taylor said. “So, Isaac’s been great. Nobody loves this place more than him. We’re hoping that he has everyone’s support. He’s a great kid, and he wants to be here and he wants to play. More so to prove everybody wrong. And more so, too, because he loves those guys in the locker room.”

Fotu remains eligible to practice. He was not made available for comment Wednesday.

Four other players have been contacted by other Division I colleges, Taylor said, in attempts to recruit them to other programs.

“The vultures are circling,” he said.

___

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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