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Sports >  WSU football

Ayden Hector’s suspension comes after Washington State safety was arrested for fake ID, minor in possession

UPDATED: Tue., Feb. 16, 2021

Washington State's Ayden Hector (36) reacts after recovering a fumble in the Cougars' game against Oregon last fall.  (Washington State Athletics)
Washington State's Ayden Hector (36) reacts after recovering a fumble in the Cougars' game against Oregon last fall. (Washington State Athletics)

Four days after reporting Washington State’s Ayden Hector was suspended from football activities for a violation of team rules, The Spokesman-Review learned the freshman safety was recently arrested by Pullman Police after attempting to purchase alcohol at a grocery store with false identification.

According to Cmdr.Jake Opgenorth, Pullman Police responded to a report of a fake ID at Dissmore’s IGA Pullman on Feb. 2 at 9:55 p.m. Hector, who later explained to police he was buying alcohol to celebrate a friend’s birthday, was arrested and placed in the back of a patrol car where an officer issued citations before releasing him, Opgenorth said.

Hector, who was cited for displaying/possessing fraudulent identification and minor in possession, is scheduled to appear in court on March 4, a Whitman County Court Supervisor confirmed to The Spokesman-Review.

While a school official was able to confirm Hector’s suspension from the football team, it’s unclear if the suspension is indefinite and what it means for the freshman safety in the immediate future.

The Cougars, who didn’t hold spring practices last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, normally begin spring camp during the third week of March. The team, which is going through winter conditioning, has yet to release a spring practice schedule.

A breakout star in WSU’s secondary, Hector started at strong safety in his college debut, tying for the team lead with seven tackles in a win over Oregon State. The walk-on from Seattle didn’t start in the Cougars’ following game, at home against Oregon, but left an imprint nonetheless, recording two fumble recoveries and an interception in the 43-29 loss, earning Freshman of the Week honors from the Pac-12 Conference. Hector started in WSU’s game at USC but didn’t travel to the season finale at Utah after testing positive for COVID-19.

Jayden de Laura, the Cougars’ freshman quarterback, is facing an indefinite suspension from the football team after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on the morning of Feb. 6. One week before Hector won the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Week award, de Laura earned it for his efforts in the win over OSU, accounting for three touchdowns against the Beavers.

Hector was a surprise addition to WSU’s football team in October, walking on after the Cougars had already started fall practices. The former Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Washington,) standout, four-star recruit and All-American Bowl participant signed to play for Stanford, but the school’s admissions department exercised its rights to revoke his admission after collecting more information about Hector’s involvement as a witness in a police investigation from 2018. No charges were ultimately filed by Seattle Police after the eight-month investigation.

“I don’t talk about admissions decisions and we recruited Ayden,” Stanford coach David Shaw said, responding to a question about Hector’s recruitment prior to a Nov. 21 game between the Pac-12 North rivals that was ultimately postponed.

“It doesn’t take you long to do any digging to see what happened, but our admissions department made a decision which we understood. I had communication with Ayden’s family, they understood. Washington State, who I did not communicate with at all, they did their due diligence and brought them to their school and added them to their football team.”

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