Darren Morningstar, the Naval Academy basketball player who has decided to take a leave of absence pending the resolution of an administrative matter that resulted in his suspension from the team in late December, probably will transfer, his father said.
"Chances are he's probably going to look for another school to transfer to," Gary Morningstar said late Thursday night in a telephone interview from the family's home in Stevenson, Wash.
"We all feel extremely bad about what has happened and maybe it's best for Darren to go someplace else. I imagine in the next week or so, something will happen."
He emphasized his son has neither reached a final decision nor begun to look at other schools.
However, later in the conversation he said: "I think they've lost an outstanding player and an outstanding midshipman. I think he would have made a fine naval or marine officer, I really do."
Gary Morningstar said he believes Darren is innocent of the transgression with which he is being charged and that he regards it as a minor one.
He refused to say what his son is accused of doing. Naval Academy officials also declined to comment on Morningstar's suspension, except to say it does not involve a violation of the law.
"We believe he is innocent of what he is accused of doing," said Gary Morningstar, who feels his son might be adversely affected by the publicity.
"Of course, we're biased because he's our son, but I legitimately think he is innocent.
"To the academy it was a big thing," he said. "They're very strict, they have very demanding guidelines, very demanding rules. As a civilian, I think it's hard to understand those guidelines . . . As far as my wife and I are concerned, it's nothing to get excited about. To us, we don't really feel it warranted his being suspended from the team. They could have used a different approach."