UPDATED 3/6 @ 11:10 a.m. ET: Now we may know why reserve fullback/linebacker Simione Vehikite isn’t with the Trojans as they continue to whittle down their roster.
The Los Angeles Times reports Vehikite was arrested last month in connection to a July, 2011 car accident. Vehikite is facing felony charges that include leaving the scene of an accident; driving under the influence and causing injury; driving with a .08% blood alcohol level and causing injury; and identity theft.
“Immediately after [USC officials became] aware of the situation, he was removed from all team activities and has not been involved since then,” Coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday. “Simi has hired an attorney, and we will have no comments on the situation while we let it work through the process.”
Already working through the effects of scholarship limitations, USC has parted ways with another one of its players.
The school confirmed to Pedro Moura of ESPN Los Angeles that fullback/linebacker Simione Vehikite is no longer with the football program. Vehikite is still enrolled at USC and taking classes, but the report doesn’t specify as to why why the redshirt junior wasn’t with the program.
For what it’s worth, Vehikite’s departure does put USC at 76 scholarship players; NCAA sanctions mandate the program stay under 75 scholarship athletes this year. Vehikite has spent the past two seasons dealing with injury and suspension issues, but was expected to compete for the starting fullback job this spring.
(Photo courtesy of USC athletics)