During the past season, USC head coach Lane Kiffin and the coaching staff suspended reserve linebacker Simione Vehikite, citing unspecified rule violations as the reasons.
Well, those reasons have been specified, and they’re pretty bad.
According to the LATimes, Vehikite, 21, pleaded no contest on Thursday to two felony counts and had been ordered to serve a year in county jail, in connection to a July 2011 car accident. The Times also said that he was remanded into custody after appearing in Inglewood Superior Court.
Vehikite’s lawyer, Michael Norris, spoke on his behalf outside of the courtroom: “He’s felt horrible about the whole thing, Now that he has appeared in court, he’s taken full responsibility for everything that happened…. Whatever needs to be done to make the victims whole, he’s happy to do.”
The incident actually took place in July 2011, but Vehikite was not arrested in connection to it until February 2012. At that time, he had been charged with four felony counts: driving under the influence causing injury; driving with a .08% blood-alcohol level and causing injury; leaving the scene of an accident, and identity theft. It was then that USC announced that it would be suspending Vehikite from all team activities.
During the legal proceedings on Thursday, Vehikite pleaded no contest to two of the counts, leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a .08% blood-alcohol level and causing injury. As a result, he was sentence to two years in prison, but that was suspended. He received three years felony probation, however, and as a condition of that, he must serve a year in county jail. He must also pay restitution to the victim of the accident, as well as complete alcohol counseling and a county morgue program.