Maui Footballer Suspended Indefinitely Over Bar Fight
By Rodney S. Yap
Oregon State football coach Mike Riley announced on Monday that the three players charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct are suspended from the team indefinitely.
Maui player Mana Rosa and teammates Rudolf Fifita and Dyllon Mafi were arrested Saturday morning outside of Impulse Bar and Grill in Corvallis. The three spent the night in jail and were released Monday on conditions they not consume alcohol and avoid contact with the victim.
“They are suspended right now and probably will remain that way from the team,” Riley told the media following the team’s first practice in preparation for the Alamo Bowl. “I haven’t yet had a chance to speak to them.”
The coach did not rule out suspending the players for their upcoming game against Texas on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Fifita’s absence would hurt the most. The senior defensive end has accounted for 25 tackles this season.
“It will affect our rotation. I’m not sure exactly how, but somebody else will step in and we will be fine. It’s not going to cost us the game.”
One of the two victims alleges that Fifita, 26, from Euless, Texas, punched him in the face after an argument in the restroom.
The victims were bloodied with numerous facial injuries, according to a court affidavit, but refused medical care.
Oregonlive.com reports Daniel Lovato, a bar employee, said he and a bouncer found one of the victims on the bathroom floor in a seated position with the other hunched over him as the three suspects were throwing punches.
According to the affidavit, Rosa, a junior defensive tackle from Haiku and former Baldwin High School standout, and Mafi, a junior linebacker from Oakland, Calif., were identified as suspects who joined the fight. The players were arrested after fleeing the bar and running south across the OSU campus.
All had shed clothing and changed hairstyles before Corvallis police officer Mike Withington detained them, according to Oregonlive.com. Police are seeking a fourth suspect, who has not been identified, the article added.
“All of these things are always about choices,” said Riley. “Guys make their own beds so to speak. Not too much good happens at that time of day.”
After the altercation, which occurred around 2:20 a.m. Saturday, Fifita was taken to Linn County Jail. Rosa, 21, and Mafi, 20, were taken to Benton County Jail. Bail was set for $157,750 for Fifita and Rosa and $161,000 for Mafi, a minor.
All three players face two counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of second-degree disorderly conduct. Mafi faces an additional charge of misrepresentation of age by minor and also was cited for minor in possession of alcohol.
Penalties for the assault charges carry possible sentences of one year in jail. The disorderly conduct charge is a possible six months and the fake ID could carry 30 days.
The players are due back in court on Jan. 10.
Oregonlive.com also reports seven teammates went to the Benton County Courthouse after Monday’s practice to offer moral support. Scott Crichton, Castro Masaniai, Michael Philipp, Feti Taomoepeau, Roman Sapolu, Shaydon Akuna and Ali’i Robins were in a crowded courtroom watching Fifita, Rosa and Mafi on video from the jail.