You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Aug 4, 2009 : 4:13 p.m.

Eastern Michigan University football player dismissed from team

By Lee Higgins

Eastern Michigan University defensive back Derrick Hunter has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules, head coach Ron English said in a news release today.

English did not specify what rules Hunter allegedly violated.

Hunter has had two run-ins with law enforcement during the past month, but has not been criminally charged in either, authorities said. He could not be reached for comment this afternoon.

He is under investigation after Ypsilanti police say a gun went off Sunday in his Washtenaw Avenue apartment, where they also found drugs.

Ann Arbor police also confirmed they are investigating a gun incident involving Hunter.

On June 27, Ann Arbor police officers took Hunter into custody for a short time after responding to a reported fight and shot being fired about 3 a.m. near State Street and Packard Road.

When officers arrived, they found a crowd of 10 people near the intersection, Ann Arbor police Det. Sgt. Brian Jatczak said.

Hunter, 21, had his back toward officers with his right hand in the front of his pants, Jatczak said.

Officers ordered him to stop and turn, when Hunter dropped a Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, Jatczak said.

The gun was registered to Hunter, Jatczak said.

A .357-caliber revolver with a wooden handle also was found near a garbage can, but it's unclear who owns it, police said.

Hunter was taken into custody, but was not charged, police said. He was released that night, Jatczak said, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

In Sunday's incident in Ypsilanti, a 57-year-old man who lives next door to Hunter woke at about 3 a.m. when he heard a loud bang, so he hit the floor, he told, assuming it was a gunshot.

The man didn't find any damage to his apartment, so he went back to sleep.

When he was cleaning his apartment Sunday night, he found a bullet hole in the wall about 2 feet from where his feet had been when he was sleeping, he said.

The bullet traveled through the wall, a shoe box and a clothing bag, landing in a dirty shirt on the floor, he said. The man called police after finding the bullet about 8:45 p.m.

Maintenance workers let investigators into Hunter's apartment, where they found narcotics and other items in “plain view,” an Ypsilanti police incident log said.

As officers waited to obtain a search warrant, Hunter returned home, telling them a female he met at a party was playing with a firearm when it went off, according to the log.

Officers found the gun in the trunk of Hunter’s vehicle after he gave them consent to search it, the log said. He owned the gun and had proper paperwork for it, according to the log.

Hunter, a junior from Southfield, missed last season with an injury.

He started 10 games for the Eagles in 2007, according to the university's athletics Web site.

Lee Higgins covers police and courts for You can reach him by phone at (734) 623-2527 or email at

Jeff Arnold of contributed to this report.



Thu, Aug 6, 2009 : 12:50 p.m.

I know that Hunter is a good person and not stupid, yes there was some bad choices made that will reflect his future but to call any child stupid shows ignorance. I wish Hunter the very best, you live and you learn from your mistakes. I hope he understands the liability about being around the wrong people at the wrong time, and I hope he chooses to make his decisions based on what will affect his future. Hunter is an excellent player and where ever he goes I know he will be a good asset to the team. Also English is known to be a great coach but I disagree when he is given credit to starting discipline into Eastern's football players. These football players are great kids, and not to be confused with criminals, or un-ruled people. No one is perfect so I wish Coach English well and the Eastern football team a good year :-)


Thu, Aug 6, 2009 : 11:09 a.m.

Not the Florida teams.


Wed, Aug 5, 2009 : 10:59 p.m.

Hunter would have been kicked off 99 percent of the teams out there after these incidents.


Wed, Aug 5, 2009 : 1:14 a.m.

Sometimes people don't know when they have a good opportunity in front of them. You have to leave that style of life alone or you will go down. Mr. Hunter has some issues that needs to be addressed and I hope he leave that lifestyle alone, which is hard for some, but he needs to turn his life around. I applaud English for not tolarating this kind of stuff and whatever he was dismissed for. Hopefully this will not be a negative affect on Hunter's life..... I hear English has a secret weapon he's not talking about to the public.


Wed, Aug 5, 2009 : 1:01 a.m.

Wow, I've been involved with shooting sports and hunting for 54 years - that includes legally carrying a handgun for self defense. All I can say is that Mr. Hunter has some serious deficiencies when it comes to responsibility, self-restraint and judgement. Which brings us to the much larger issue: Guys like this discredit responsible citizen gun owners and taint their image. In addition to the obvious great danger he represents to human life, he's Mister Collateral Damage all over the place. As for Coach English: what else could he do? I can only imagine the scare he got when he heard about Mr. Hunter's latest "adventure." But that still doesn't help "unscare" anyone: what's this guy gonna do now that he has no legitimate reason to be in a program which is supposed to help mature young athletes? If he gets off on any yet-to-be-applied charges, he may just become the kind of ticking time bomb that'll end up causing the death of innocents. Geez, doesn't anybody remember that nut job who killed all those people at Virginia Tech? It was all, "Oh, if we had only heeded the warning signs!" Hah! Hunter is SPEWING warning signs and it appears nothing will be done until he comes back to EMU for revenge. Just sayin'... because no one else seems to have thought of this.


Tue, Aug 4, 2009 : 8:12 p.m.

First of all, discplinary actions against EMU athletes football or otherwise are extremely rare. The previous coach Genyk inherited a situation from the previous coach and immediately dismissed a player who hit a Ypsilanti police officer. In other words EMU coaches do a good job of recruiting good kids to the school in all sports including football. There already was disclipine in the football program before English's arrival. Witness the academic progress of the football team prior to English. Yes we need to do some work on the field. By the way in one area English is very similar to previous coaches. One site Vanderlay Sports ranked English's first recruiting class LAST in the MAC and that was before FOUR players mentioned in the recruiting class decided not to come to EMU for academic or other reasons. You hold Ron Cooper as a shining example yet Ron Cooper probably had more Prop 48 kids than the next three EMU coaches combined. Cooper recruited talented athletes but they weren't Boy Scouts. We do agree Hunter is stupid and the kicking off the team was warranted but Hunter doesn't represent the quality of the kids on this team character wise. English inherited a good group of kids.


Tue, Aug 4, 2009 : 6:37 p.m.

As I predicted yesterday, and was consequently so rudely rebutted, Hunter is, indeed, English's first example. English is bringing discipline into a program that needs it. I think this will be a welcome change once the results show up on the field. I feel sorry for Hunter and wish him well, but everyone on the team had to know that the first player to do something really stupid would be dismissed.