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Updated: USC linebacker arrested last month on felony counts

simione vehikite

UPDATED 3/6 @ 11:10 a.m. ETNow 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.”

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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) 

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8 Responses to “Updated: USC linebacker arrested last month on felony counts”
  1. pdcooper08 says: Mar 5, 2012 11:13 PM

    Don’t think he could meet the standard set and is bowing out. Probably not a bad thing here. Good luck to you Simione in the future. I hear you where a good teammate.

  2. seanb20124 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:49 AM

    Do I guess one more scholarship player will voluntarily quit the team prior to the fall?

  3. bigdinla says: Mar 6, 2012 7:44 AM

    Funny, if this was happening at Alabama, people would be screaming about players being processed.

  4. addict2sport says: Mar 6, 2012 9:03 AM

    This would never happen at Alabama because the NCAA homers wouldn’t punish the SEC’s Bama with much more than a slap on the wrist.

  5. chalkruz1989 says: Mar 6, 2012 11:46 AM

    This is what all college programs should do. I am not advocating for these players to not get a second chance, but, if he were an average college student and not a ball player, he’d get kicked out of school immediately. Oregon, Florida, and Ohio State among others should follow suit and get rid of the bad apples. No sense in allowing these kids to constantly break the rules but go without facing a penalty because they’re fast or strong.

  6. pdcooper08 says: Mar 6, 2012 12:52 PM

    As they should, SC will error on the side of caution when dealing with anyone that has legal issues. This kid was arrested for a crime, so until he goes through the legal process, he should be removed from the football team.

    Regardless to whether he is guilty, he is innocent until proven otherwise. Let’s not throw the kid under the bus yet, he still deserves his day in court first.

  7. addict2sport says: Mar 6, 2012 6:09 PM

    Unfortunately USC also has to jump at an opportunity to condense the number of players on scholly so when something like this happens it almost ends up being a blessing in disguise. It makes reaching that restricted number a lot easier, at least.

  8. pdcooper08 says: Mar 6, 2012 10:23 PM

    Your right, but it’s still very early in the process for that. After spring and summer, I’ll bet they lose 2 or three more kids and will be plenty under the number. Those things happen everywhere. School is not for everyone one of these athletes. SC does have high standards in the class room and someone will flunk out, I’m sure of it.

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