LOS ANGELES -- Southern California kicker Mario Danelo was
drunk when he plunged over a cliff to his death, but the cause of
his death was "undetermined," according to a coroner's report
A toxicological report accompanying Danelo's autopsy report
found he had a 0.23 blood-alcohol level, nearly three times the legal
limit for driving in California. No drugs were detected in his body, the report
The autopsy report said the cause of death was multiple
traumatic injuries, but "because of the unanswered questions, we
are stating the manner of death as undetermined," Deputy Medical
Examiner Jeffrey Gutstadt of the Los Angeles County Coroner's
office wrote in the report.
Danelo, 21, was found Jan. 6 more than 100 feet down a rocky
cliff in San Pedro. Police said from the outset that foul play was
ruled out and his death was either an accident or a suicide.
Following Danelo's death, several Southern California players
said they were convinced the kicker did not take his own life.
A USC spokesman declined to comment about the coroner's report.
Danelo's brother, Joey Danelo, was not immediately available for
The report also couldn't ascertain what Danelo's state-of-mind
was before his death but he "would have had to scale a wall to get
to the strip of land before the steep drop-off of approximately 150
feet while under the influence of alcohol."
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.
He missed 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
Danelo, the son of former NFL kicker Joe Danelo, was a walk-on
at USC in 2003 and received a scholarship two years later.