On the legal front … dubious priorities and values

USA Today and the Star-Advertiser report that Hawai‘i Attorney General David Louie might be interested in joining Utah in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the college football Bowl Championship Series.

Utah AG Mark Shurtleff argues the BCS violates antitrust law by depriving equal access to top bowl bids to schools like the University of Hawai‘i that don’t belong to BCS conferences.

It was a pet issue of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s when he was in Congress, but I’m not seeing where Hawai‘i has enough of a beef for it to be worth the time and expense of getting involved in the lawsuit when we have more pressing concerns.

The only year UH played well enough to be worthy of a BCS appearance, in the undefeated season of 2007-2008, the Warriors received an invitation to the BCS Sugar Bowl. We didn’t exactly prove we belonged in the 41-10 loss to Georgia.

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A couple of court cases yesterday:

• Honolulu prosecutors threw the book at former beauty queen Susan Shaw in a $200,000 identity theft and credit card fraud case, refusing to negotiate the charges, and she was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

• Retired University of Hawaii math professor David Stegenga got a plea deal of five years probation with no jail time for sexually assaulting a neighbor girl from 1999 to 2005, when she was between the ages of 7 and 13, in a crime that often causes major long-term trauma for the victim.

How is this right? What are our values?

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8 Comments on “On the legal front … dubious priorities and values”

  1. zzzzzz Says:

    UH would have done a lot better at the Sugar Bowl if the refs didn’t let UGA’s right defensive end be offside on almost every snap.

    I question the wisdom of the 20-year sentence too. It’s going to cost the state a lot of money to keep her locked up that long, and she won’t be able to make restitution.

    For non-violent crimes like hers, I think more of the sentence should include an ankle bracelet to limit her to staying home and going to work, so she’d still have her freedom restricted but not be costing taxpayers as much. I would hope employment would be a condition to such an arrangement, in which case she’d be paying taxes, and could also make some amount of restitution.

  2. Richard Gozinya Says:

    I’m more concerned about how guys with 10,20,or more previous violations manage to be walking around free. Like that guy involved in the recent shoot out on Kalanianaole.

  3. Michael Says:

    It is sad when sports win is far greater and more important than the education of the player. To me, Football in Hawaii is just another tourist attraction. Assuming with Hawaii’s great weather we should have All Star Players.

    No Ethics in House.

  4. Cute Lunatic Says:

    I’d like to put my 2 cents in. Yes, it’s strange how here in Hawaii the punishment almost never fits the crime. You get drunk drivers killing innocent people on the street and they get a slap on the wrist and maybe 6 months minus time spent. I think a drunk driver who kills with multiple DUI convictions should be prosecuted as a murderer. Some tax evasion convicts get more time.

  5. Cute Lunatic Says:

    And don’t get me started on sex offenders and child abusers!!

  6. zzzzzing Says:

    The judicial system here is effed up, big time. But what are we (or can we) do about it? Where are the protests? Where is the outrage amongst our lawmakers? What values? We place little or no value on human life, but touch our money, and suddenly judges grow some hair. I’m disgusted, but don’t know how to right the wrongs. 😦

  7. hugh clark Says:

    I miss a lot in above entries, including how sex offenders and college football equate.

    I do not see this from a Hawaii perspective or even a westerm USA point of view, a la Boise State and Utah. I see restraint of trade as a superbly ripe legal issue. The cartel created to etablish the bowl championship series and the profits realized from that is obscene — almost as bad as big oil.

    The Utah AG is on an overdue course to ask the courts to critically look at this innate corruption.

    The NCAA has been dysfunctional for 50 plus years. Its flim flam behavior in the Ohio State mess in 2010 Sugar Bowl is a good current example.

    Let’s look at fairness. I see no remedy except at the courts.

    Those in doubt only need review the recent unraveling of Arizona’s Fiesta Bowl and its foul operations to see the greed and corruption at the the very top of USA college football.

  8. David Shapiro Says:

    Hugh. thanks for the post. I totally agree that the BCS system probably needs a swift legal kick, just not sure a leadership role for Hawai‘i is required with all we have on the table and others already on the case. It would cause ridicule to be heaped on Hawai‘i if we whine about being shut out of the BCS when we got in the only year we were good enough and since then have been unable to win even a Made for Hawai‘i Bowl, much less a BCS bowl. I say let states with BCS-competitive schools carry the fight and we’ll share in the bounty if they win and we ever become BCS-competitive. We can carry the fight for them sometime on another issue where we’re in a more credible position to take the lead.


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