Father of Trojans LB Maualuga dies after long illness

Updated: January 3, 2006, 12:51 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Talatonu Maualuga, the father of Southern California linebacker Rey Maualuga, has died after a long illness.

USC sports information director Tim Tessalone said Maualuga, a freshman from Eureka, Calif., was informed of his father's death following Rose Bowl media day Monday.

Tessalone said Maualuga will play for No. 1 USC against No. 2 Texas in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday night.

"He's got some family coming down tomorrow," Tessalone said. "He's expected to go home Thursday."

Maualuga and his teammates went through a light practice Monday night.

Maualuga, a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder, is listed as USC's second-string middle linebacker behind Oscar Lua. Maualuga had a team-high nine tackles in the Trojans' 66-19 victory over UCLA on Dec. 3.

Maualuga was arrested Nov. 1 for allegedly punching a man at an off-campus party, but no criminal charges were filed. He sat out the first half of the game against Stanford the following weekend as punishment.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press