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USC LB Don Hill sent home for violation of team rules

USC linebacker Don Hill will not play in season opener after a violation of team rules.

Don Hill just can't seem to outrun his demons. 

After flying to Dallas with the team, the redshirt sophomore was sent home by the coaching staff for what a USC spokesperson said was a "violation of team rules" meaning Hill will miss the season opener against Alabama tomorrow night at AT&T Stadium. 

Hill's suspension is believed to be related to the Osa Masina sexual assault investigation. TMZ released a report Thursday afternoon alleging that Masina had raped a woman twice in two weeks -- once in Los Angeles and once in Utah. The woman claims Hill was involved in the Los Angeles incident. Masina was suspended for a violation of team rules earlier this week, though neither player has been charged or arrested for anything stemming from the alleged incident.

This is the third time Hill has run afoul since joining the USC football team after starring at Boise (Ida.) Timberline. He was arrested for driving under the influence in his hometown in January 2015 while on winter break and then missed all spring this year after he was suspended for a violation of team rules stemming from an off-the-field incident.

Hill rejoined the team during the summer and worked himself back into the rotation backing up Porter Gustin as a pass-rushing outside linebacker. He was officially listed as being in a three-way tie with true freshmen Oluwole Betiku and Connor Murphy at the 'Predator' position, but Hill had taken the majority of the second-team reps since the Trojans began game preparations for Alabama.

The 6-foot-2, 240 pounder played well last season, coming on towards the end of the season to earn some valuable snaps. He was named USC's Defensive Service Team Player of the Year and also was a recipient of USC's Lifter Award last year. He figured to have a significant role behind Gustin and on special teams against the Crimson Tide.

With Hill suspended, Betiku or Murphy could be thrown into the mix earlier than expected or Jabari Ruffin could be flipped over from the SAM outside linebacker spot.

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