USC linebacker Maualuga arrested, accused of assault

Updated: November 3, 2005, 11:09 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Southern California linebacker Rey Maualuga was arrested for allegedly punching a man at an off-campus party, police said.

Maualuga, an 18-year-old freshman coming off the best game of his career for the top-ranked Trojans, was arrested around 4 a.m. Tuesday after the altercation three hours earlier, said Los Angeles police spokesman Kevin Maiberger.

Maualuga left the scene, but later turned himself in and was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor battery. Maualuga was released a short time later on his own recognizance.

"We're treating this very seriously," USC coach Pete Carroll said after practice Wednesday. "He's in essence been knocked down until we find out further what the situation is."

Maualuga has declined comment. An arraignment hearing was scheduled for Nov. 22.

Since the arrest, Maualuga, listed as the Trojans' second-string middle linebacker, has practiced with the scout squad. Carroll said the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Maualuga would suit up for Saturday night's game against Stanford, but wouldn't say whether he will play against the Cardinal.

"I'm really disappointed," Carroll said. "The whole team feels bad."

Carroll said the coaching staff has met to discuss the situation and Maualuga has addressed the team. The coach wouldn't elaborate, but referred to the fact that Maualuga's father has health issues.

"This is a young man who's got some very serious stuff he's dealing with right now," Carroll said. "We want to help him."

Maualuga had five solo tackles and one assist in USC's 55-13 victory over Washington State last weekend.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press