USC's linebacker depth took a hit on Tuesday when head coach Clay Helton announced that sophomore Osa Masina and redshirt sophomore Don Hill have been suspended from all team activities for the duration of the year.
“As you know, we had already confirmed that Osa and Don would not be playing in our first two games," Helton said on the Pac-12 Coaches Conference call Tuesday. "Under the University’s further guidance, it has been decided that they have been suspended from participation with our football team. Any questions related to that should be directed to the University.”
The linebacker roommates had been suspended for the first two games, but had been able to practice and attend team meetings. It now appears that will no be the case for the rest of the season.
Masina, the former five-star Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton inside linebacker, was originally suspended in the week leading up to USC's season opener against Alabama for a violation of team rules after reports surfaced that he was being investigated for sexual assaults of the same woman in Los Angeles and Cottonwood Heights, Utah that occurred during the summer.
Hill traveled with the team to Dallas, Texas for the Alabama game, but was sent home Friday morning for a violation of team rules after reports that he was named in the Los Angeles Police Department's search warrant for Masina.
No charges have been filed against either player.
Masina had been expected to contend for a starting role entering fall camp, but was listed as a backup behind senior Michael Hutchings at the WILL linebacker spot when Helton released his initial depth chart midway through fall camp. Hill was backing up Porter Gustin at the Predator outside linebacker position.
The suspensions of Masina and Hill haven't had a big impact on the field where defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast has not substituted frequently in the first two games. Masina had 25 tackles and a 46-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown as a freshman last season. Hill had seven tackles as a redshirt freshman last year.
-- Shotgun Spratling and Dan Weber contributed to this story.