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USC’s Havili sent home as punishment for fight

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LOS ANGELES  — Southern California fullback Stanley Havili has been banned from team activities as punishment for injuring teammate T.J. Bryant in a fight last week.

Coach Lane Kiffin told Havili to stay home from meetings and practice Friday. The Trojans haven’t decided when the senior will be allowed to return, creating yet another distraction in USC’s never-ending cavalcade.

"I continue to be very disappointed in Stanley’s decision-making," Kiffin said. "We talk about protecting this team, and it’s just very disappointing from somebody I don’t know if I’ve ever been disappointed in. I’ve been so disappointed because it’s so unexpected."

Havili and Bryant scuffled a week ago when a pre-training camp conditioning drill erupted into a shoving match and apparently ended with Havili striking Bryant in the face. Although USC initially thought Bryant wasn’t seriously hurt, he underwent X-rays on his cheekbone Wednesday, leading to surgery Thursday that will keep him out for at least three weeks.

Kiffin said Bryant "begged" him to allow Havili to keep practicing despite the altercation. The first-year coach still felt compelled to take a disciplinary stand — even against one of his team leaders.

"We just don’t condone that," Kiffin said.

After practicing with the Trojans on Thursday, Havili wasn’t permitted to attend team meetings, an early walk-through or practice Friday. Kiffin said Havili was allowed to stay in his dorm room.

Bryant is a junior cornerback who spent his first two seasons as a backup, but hoped to earn a starting spot this fall. He hopes to return to practice before the Trojans’ season-opener at Hawaii on Sept. 2.

Havili is a three-year starter and the Trojans’ career leader in receptions by fullbacks. He apologized profusely to his teammates and coaches, saying Thursday that he "let an intense workout get the best of me."

With Havili unavailable Friday, the Trojans held their first practice in pads with freshman linebacker Simione Vehikite at fullback. Tight end Rhett Ellison also has played the position during practice.

USC practiced without three injured receivers. Touted freshman Kyle Prater has a strained hip, Brandon Carswell is out with a thigh injury, and De’Von Flournoy has an injured shoulder.

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