Derting's DUI costs him a start

Updated: October 15, 2003, 2:35 AM ET
Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Sophomore linebacker Will Derting, the leading tackler for No. 6 Washington State, will not start Saturday at Stanford, coach Bill Doba said Tuesday.

Derting was cited Oct. 4 for driving under the influence and suspended from the team. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Whitman County Superior Court, Doba said in his weekly telephone news conference from Pullman.

"Whether he plays will depend on the court and what they decide. He will not start," Doba said. A decision on whether Derting plays will be made at game time, the coach said.

Doba hinted that a plea agreement might be in the works, but was told by sports information director Rod Commons not to comment further.

Derting, 20, from Okanogan, was suspended from the team for a week after the Oct. 4 incident in Pullman. He returned to practice Tuesday. Derting has 37 tackles and 3.5 sacks this season.

His arrest was a minor distraction for the Cougars, who had a bye last weekend, yet moved up six places -- from 12th -- in both the ESPN/USA Today and The Associated Press football polls.

Doba was in Seattle when the poll was released Sunday and said he was surprised at how high the Cougars had risen after a weekend of upsets.

"I thought maybe, with everybody getting beat, we might move up to 10 or 9 or something. To jump to 6 was really a surprise," he said.

It was the first time since last season that the Cougars were ranked as high. WSU was ranked No. 5 the week of Nov. 3, 2002, and had a sixth-place ranking going into the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma on Jan. 1, 2003.

"I think it's great for our kids. They worked hard and it's awesome that they're getting some recognition for all the work they did this summer and for their intensity and the way they've worked this fall," Doba said.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press