Former Eastern Michigan football player Derrick Hunter apologizes
An Eastern Michigan University football player who was stripped of his scholarship this week and who remains under police investigation is now intent on trying to clear his name.
Derrick Hunter, a junior defensive back, said Wednesday there is always two sides to every story, but he knows the damage has already been done after police found drugs in his Ypsilanti apartment where a handgun inadvertently was fired early Sunday morning.
Hunter, 21, declined Wednesday afternoon to discuss the specifics of an early-morning incident when police were called to a Washtenaw Ave. apartment complex after a resident called and reported hearing a gun shot.
A neighbor of Hunter’s said a bullet went through the wall of his apartment and went through a shoe box and clothing bag before landing on a dirty shirt on the floor.
The incident remains under investigation, Ypsilanti police said Wednesday. Hunter also remains under investigation by Ann Arbor police for an incident involving a handgun last month.
“I’m sorry I embarrassed everybody,” said Hunter, who missed last season with a knee injury. “I just made some bad choices and hung out with the wrong people I guess.”
Hunter was dismissed from the team on Tuesday for a violation of team rules.
Eastern Michigan athletic director Derrick Gragg and first-year coach Ron English declined to comment further on the mater through a university spokesman on Wednesday.
Hunter, who started 10 games as a freshman for the Eagles, said he is trying to piece his future together.
Standing in front of his apartment Wednesday and wearing Eastern Michigan sweatpants, Hunter said he plans to finish his degree in accounting and communications. He is weighing his football options, having spoken to several schools at the Division II and Division I-AA level. He said English told him he had lost his scholarship in a meeting this week.
Hunter fears his time at a school he said he still loves is over.
“I wish I didn't have to leave, but you can't have drugs and guns around your program. I know I wouldn’t want them around mine,” Hunter said. “Coach English has been a great person to me; he has only been here a short time, but I have learned so much from him.
“But I can see why he made the decision he did.”
Jeff Arnold covers sports for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2554.