The Ferris State football team, ranked No. 2 in the nation and preparing to play in the Division II national semifinals, is dealing with a serious off-the-field incident.
University officials have confirmed a player was kicked off the team this week after allegedly getting into a physical altercation with a female in an off-campus apartment late Saturday or early Sunday.
The player has not been named, but school officials said the player did not travel with the team for its 37-14 quarterfinal victory over Ouachita State in Arkansas last Saturday.
Ferris State's statement read, in full:
"Ferris State University has been made aware of a Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department investigation of an alleged assault of a female student by a male football student-athlete. The alleged incident, which is not believed to be a sexual assault, occurred at a local off-campus apartment complex during the late-evening, early-morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2. The male student-athlete involved in this alleged assault, who did not travel with the team to its most recent game on Dec. 1, has been dismissed from the football program. Further, these allegations will be subject to university investigation for possible violations of the Student Code of Community Standards."
The Detroit News has cross-checked the Ferris State roster released before Saturday's game with the roster currently available on the team's website. There are two players who have since been removed, both freshmen who haven't played this season.
The News is not naming the omitted players because it's not clear which one is being investigated for the alleged assault incident.
In a post on social media, the woman making the allegations claimed she was "punched in the face" and shared a picture of a cut upper lip. She also claimed that another Ferris State football player, which The News is not naming, offered her $5 to "keep quiet." That player, a sophomore, remains listed on the Ferris State roster and also hasn't played this season.
Ferris State (14-0) is in the national semifinals for the third time in program history, and seeking its first national championship. It plays at Minnesota State (13-0) at 3 p.m. Saturday. Red-shirt junior quarterback Jayru Campbell, of Detroit Cass Tech, is expected to be at quarterback after returning to action this past weekend, after missing the previous game with a sprained left (non-throwing) shoulder.
Valdosta State (Ga.) and Notre Dame Ohio play in the other semifinal, at noon. The championship game is scheduled for Dec. 15.
This is the second roster issue that's made headlines this year for Ferris State, which earlier in the year reported to the NCAA that it had used an ineligible player. That player, a transfer, played in four games before the discovery but hasn't played since, even as the university has tried to get him reinstated.