A player who was drafted by the New York Giants on Saturday was injured in a shooting hours later that claimed the life of a college teammate.
“Heartbreaking news about Dwane Simmons,” Washburn coach Craig Schurig said in a statement. "Dwane is one of the most energetic and well-liked players I have ever coached at Washburn. Dwane's infectious smile and love for football and his teammates was truly inspirational. Our prayers of healing go out to his family, his parents Navarro and Yasmine Simmons and Chaquilla Williams."
Simmons, 23, started in 17 of the 22 games at defensive back for Washburn.
“Any time we lose a student it is a sad occasion, but it is particularly poignant to lose a student through such a senseless act,” the university’s president, Jerry Farley, said. “Both Dwane and Corey have been great examples and representatives of the football team and of Washburn University in general. This was a terrible way to end a day which should have been a day of celebration and a day to look forward to Dwane's upcoming year at Washburn and the beginning of Corey's professional career.”
Ballentine, who was hospitalized with a gunshot wound, is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries, Farley said. Selected 180th overall by the Giants, Ballentine recorded 50 tackles and three interceptions in addition to being a kick-return specialist for Washburn.
“We are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information,” the Giants said in a statement. “We have spoken to Corey, and he is recovering in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwane Simmons’ family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community.”