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Two MU football players arrested early Sunday

MU players arrested
Apr. 05, 2010 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A pair of Marshall University football players were arrested early Sunday morning on charges that they scuffled with Huntington Police officers.

DeQuan Starling, who prefers the last name of Bembry, was charged with assaulting a police officer and public intoxication, both misdemeanors. T.J. Drakeford was charged with battery on a police officer and obstruction, also misdemeanors. Their mug shots appeared on the Western Regional Jail's web site Sunday morning.

Both men were arraigned Sunday afternoon. Drakeford's bond was set at $15,000, while Bembry's was $5,500.

"We had two football players arrested last night by Huntington police," said Marshall head football coach Doc Holliday in a statement. "They have let their team down, their coaches down, their fans down and the entire Huntington community down.

"I am extremely disappointed in their actions. The appropriate disciplinary action will be taken once I have all of the facts."

According to a Huntington Police Department incident report, Bembry and Drakeford were arrested about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the 800 block of 3rd Avenue.

Officers were called to the area to break up a fight outside a bar. Most of the crowd dispersed after police arrived, but two men stayed at the scene and began yelling at the officers, according to the report. One of the men pushed an officer in the chest, while the other verbally threatened the officer, according to the report. Bembry and Drakeford were taken into custody without further incident.

When Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick learned of the arrests he took immediate action.

"They're indefinitely suspended," said Hamrick, while driving back to Huntington from the Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday. "As soon as we get all the details we will deal with it."

The irony is Bembry and Drakeford were Marshall's starting cornerbacks two seasons ago as redshirt freshmen.

This is Bembry's third arrest in a little more than a year. In March 2009, he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication. Bembry was arrested by Marshall campus police in a dormitory lobby. After spending the night at Western Regional Jail in Barboursville, he was released.

Then, in May 2009, Bembry and former Marshall running back Darius Marshall were arrested and initially charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Those charges were later deemed incorrect.

Then-Marshall head football coach Mark Snyder issued a statement saying a Cabell County Sheriff's detective's mistake led to improper charges being filed against Marshall and Bembry. Both were charged with misdemeanor possession for possessing less than 15 grams of marijuana.

Both players were suspended for Marshall's season-opener in 2009. Darius Marshall has since left the football program, declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft as a junior.

This was the first arrest for Drakeford. But Bembry's Marshall career appears in serious jeopardy after his third arrest in 13 months.

Bembry had been participating in Marshall's spring football practice, although a toe injury was limiting what he could do. Drakeford was in full uniform during a practice Saturday morning, but is recovering from hernia surgery and isn't cleared to play.

Marshall's spring practice resumes at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Edwards Stadium.

Herald-Dispatch reporter Bryan Chambers contributed to this report.

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