Jabari Ruffin suspended for first half of Utah State game

Redshirt senior defensive end Jabari Ruffin will sit out the first half of USC’s home opener against Utah State after he was ejected for stomping on an Alabama player’s groin on Saturday.

Head coach Clay Helton announced the suspension in a teleconference with the media on Sunday. “As a learning lesson,” Helton also said that Ruffin will have to write a letter of apology.

The incident occurred late in the first half of USC’s 52-6 loss to Alabama at AT&T Stadium to begin the season. After junior Adoree’ Jackson was tackled returning a kickoff, he attempted to help up Alabama sophomore defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. But Ruffin stood over Fitzpatrick and used his left foot to step on the downed Crimson Tide player.

Ruffin, who appeared in 14 games last season as a backup outside linebacker and on special teams, was flagged and ejected immediately.

“He understands that his conduct is unbecoming of a Trojan and there will be zero tolerance moving forward,” Helton said to the media.

Ruffin is the third USC player to be suspended in the last week. Sophomore inside linebacker Osa Masina and redshirt sophomore defensive end Don Hill were suspended for the Alabama game for their involvement in a sexual assault investigation.

Helton did not disclose whether the two players would be available against Utah State, but said the University is allowing Masina and Hill to attend school, practice and meetings.