Article by: Megan Lewton and Cora Hall | Editor in Chief and News Editor
A Ferris football player has been removed from the team following assault allegations.
The player, who will remain nameless until and unless he is formally charged, was accused of punching a female Ferris student in the face at a party at Oakwood Townhomes Saturday, Dec. 1, south of Big Rapids. The player did not travel with the football team to their game against Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Arkansas) earlier that day.
Ferris pre-nursing freshman Erica Jostock’s story received widespread attention after she made a Facebook post about the alleged assault, which has since received more than 1,000 likes, more than 4,000 comments and about 2,500 shares.
Jostock said it began when she was trying to protect an intoxicated woman who was dancing with the player. Jostock confronted the woman, who then walked away from the player. The player allegedly told Jostock to come dance with him, and when she said no, an altercation ensued.
Jostock said it began with yelling and pushing. Although she is unsure of who pushed her, she is certain she knows who punched her.
“Next thing I know, I saw his arm come up and it kind of went downward on my face so I didn’t get a horrible hit, but he did make contact, and at that point I just looked at my friend and I was in shock of what just happened,” Jostock said.
Jostock said she attempted to leave the party afterwards and was stopped by the player’s friend, another Ferris football player, who offered her $5 to not tell anyone about the assault. Stunned from the situation, Jostock said she took the $5 before leaving.
“I wasn’t in the right state of mind and I was just so shocked by everything that happened, so I just grabbed it out of his hand and left,” Jostock said.
When she returned home, she called the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department, who is investigating the case.
“I got back to my dorm and called the cops and that’s when they came and I gave them the money and said, ‘Look, this is what happened,’” Jostock said. “I was breathalyzed and I blew nothing, I’d like to make that very clear. So I was not intoxicated, as is my two witnesses who were there, as well.”
A statement by Ferris News Services and Social Media Manager Sandy Gholston said the university is looking into the situation and that they have contacted Jostock.
“These allegations will be subject to university investigation for possible violations of the Student Code of Community Standards. The university has reached out to the female student to check on her well-being and offer her support,” Gholston said.
Although she is glad the alleged assaulter is no longer playing with the football team, Jostock hopes further action is taken.
“I mean, he is no longer on the football roster, so that is definitely something that they should have done a long time ago, but I think they are starting to do something and they’re realizing that this guy really is a threat,” Jostock said. “And I know that I will get hate for doing this or saying something, but I won’t sit back and watch.”