The NCAA announced today that the University of Hawai‘i Rainbow Warrior men’s basketball team is now eligible to participate in the postseason due to the ban being lifted, according to a release from the University of Hawai‘i athletics department.
"We are glad to be able to finally put this episode behind us," said UH Athletics Director David Matlin in UH Athletics’ release. "We have been fully committed to uncovering and correcting any wrong-doing from the very first day we self-reported our initial concern. And throughout this entire investigation we have cooperated fully, including openly acknowledging the mistakes that were made."
The NCAA also stated that their probationary period has been reduced from three years to two, ending in December 2017 and the scholarship penalty was reduced from two per year to one. After UH appealed their final decision in 2015, following the scandal left behind by former head basketball coach Gib Arnold, the NCAA has approved their request, lifted the ban and reduced the other punishments.
Due to the ban that was put on them last season, the 2016-17 season looked grim, as the Warriors went into this year with no returning starters from last year’s record setting team. Now UH is sitting on a 14-14 record, with the chance to secure a regular-season win record if they overcome Long Beach State, this Saturday, March 4.
"Obviously we're pleased with today's announcement," head coach Eran Ganot said in UH Athletics’ release. "I've said this many times before and I'll say it again – I'm extremely proud of how our administration, staff, and players have dealt with this situation. I'm fired up for our guys and can't wait to get on the court for Saturday's game and for the opportunity to defend our Big West Tournament title next week."