Alcohol, drug presence undetermined in Danelo death

Updated: January 8, 2007, 11:27 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- An autopsy was performed on Southern California kicker Mario Danelo on Monday, and the coroner's office said it could be six to eight weeks before the cause of death is determined.

The medical examiner is awaiting toxicology results that would detect the presence of any alcohol or drugs the system of the 21-year-old player, the son of former NFL kicker Joe Danelo.

Foul play has been ruled out. Danelo's body was found Saturday about 120 feet down a rocky cliff in San Pedro, not far from the family home, police said.

"There's no crime," Los Angeles Police Dept. officer Mike Lopez said Sunday. "It was either an accident or a suicide."

Danelo made 15 of 16 field goals this season and led the Trojans in scoring with 89 points. He made two field goals in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day to help USC beat Michigan 32-18.

The junior missed only two field goals in his two-year career at USC, going 26-for-28, and he was 127-of-134 on extra points. He set NCAA single-season records with 83 extra points and 86 attempts in the 2005 season.

"We'll miss Mario terribly," USC coach Pete Carroll said through a school spokesman. "He was a wonderful kid and well liked by everyone. We'll be there to help his family in every way we can and we'll always be there for them. Mario was a great young man and he'll always be remembered by everyone that way."

Danelo was a walk-on at USC in 2003 and received a scholarship two years later, succeeding Ryan Killeen as the Trojans' kicker.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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