Archive for Sunday, December 28, 2008

A proud new papa

Newborn son drastically alters life of KU’s Fields

Kansas receiver Dexton Fields pulls in a catch during a team practice Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007 at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida.

Kansas receiver Dexton Fields pulls in a catch during a team practice Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007 at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida.

December 28, 2008


Deran Joseph Fields gazes upward, his eyes widening below a curly mat of hair.

At 21⁄2 months old, he doesn’t seem fazed by reporters around him.

“It seems like he’s enjoying it,” Dexton Fields says with the smile of a proud father. “He ain’t crying.”

Dexton isn’t fussing, either.

Two weeks ago, his girlfriend of more than a year, Kelsey Schepmann, had to take a final at Kansas University. That left Dexton, KU’s fourth-leading all-time receptions leader, with baby-sitting responsibilities.

So, when Dexton had to go to a football media day, Deran had to come along, too.

Wearing a blue and white Calvin Klein shirt, brown pants and baby blue slippers, the infant barely made a sound while resting in his father’s arms.

“This is a little bit harder than football,” Fields said. “It kind of put things in perspective when you have a kid. You realize that football is not everything. This is life.”

Life for Dexton Fields is about to change quickly.

He says the government assistance only lasts so long. His college career has only one game remaining. After starting the season with a foot injury, he hasn’t had the kind of senior campaign that he’d hoped for.

Sure, the Insight Bowl will be important to the Jayhawks. It will be important to the coaches and the players and the fans and the families.

But it might be most important for Dexton Fields. This is one of his last chances to show scouts that he deserves a shot in the NFL.

It’s one of his last chances he has to make an impact on the field that could help both he and his son.

“Anything can happen,” Fields said, “if I go out and perform the way that I know that I will.”

‘I’ve never had responsibility like this’

Dexton Fields gave his phone to assistant strength and conditioning coach Jared Kaaiohelo every day, just in case.

The orders were simple: If Dexton’s cell phone received a call from Kelsey, Jared was to pull Dexton out of practice so he could be there for the birth of his son.

On Oct. 2, though, Dexton forgot to bring his phone to the practice field.

After workouts, he received the call. He rushed immediately to the hospital.

Dexton said it was a blur from there. Within a few minutes, he was holding his newborn son.

He said he still remembered his exact thoughts while cradling Deran.

“Just the word, ‘responsibility,’” Dexton said. “Until him, I’ve never had responsibility like this. I could do what I wanted to do, go where I wanted to go. Now, he comes first. That’s what I was thinking: How much it’s going to change. What I had to do to take care of him.”

The week also was significant because Dexton was going to play in his first game for KU since Week 1 after suffering a foot injury. That week, against Iowa State, he caught two passes for 56 yards.

“I wanted to go out there and play the best that I could because I knew eventually I was going to have to provide for him,” Fields said. “Every game has been like that for me.”

It hasn’t been easy adding the extra duties to his schedule.

Dexton had only two classes in the fall semester, and only one of them was on campus. That ended up being a blessing, as taking care of his son became a daily responsibility.

Sometimes, the sleep only came in 30-minute increments. Early-morning weights were made even tougher, as a tired Dexton would make his way to the workout.

He still remained motivated despite the tougher circumstances.

“I have to do it. That’s what I have to keep programming into my mind,” Fields said. “If I don’t, I won’t take care of my responsibility like I need to. I try to look at it like it’s not his fault, you know what I mean? ... I have to take care of him.”

Dexton says the two watch “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Married With Children” on television together. They also occasionally visit teammates’ apartments, where teammates like Joe Mortensen have tried, unsuccessfully, to get Deran to do push-ups.

“He’s not there yet. Of course, he’s still young,” Mortensen said with a laugh. “You gotta (give) tough love. You gotta get him right from the start.”

Looking ahead

Fields said he isn’t surprised that his numbers are down a bit.

After leading the Jayhawks in receptions the last two seasons, Fields is fifth on the team this year with 19 catches for 209 yards and three touchdowns.

“I think once I got injured, (KU quarterback Todd Reesing) found that Kerry (Meier) and (Dezmon) Briscoe were reliable also,” Fields said. “When I came back in, I came back in as the last receiver. I had to kind of get what I could get. I don’t blame him. They handled business while I was out.”

Fields has picked up the pace in his last few games. He has a touchdown reception in three straight contests, and also had his best performance of the season in KU’s last game against Missouri, where he caught seven passes for 72 yards.

“I think Dex definitely has enough talent to play at the next level,” Mortensen said. “He hasn’t had the greatest year. A lot guys on the team haven’t. I think he’s definitely capable of playing.”

Now, Fields knows, has to be the time to show his abilities.

He graduated with a degree in African-American studies from KU last week, but his goal is to play in the pros.

Sure, there will be workouts after the bowl game. But for now, his best chance to shine will be in his final collegiate football game in Tempe, Ariz.

“It’s kind of hard leaving (Deran), you know, like when you go away for games and stuff, because you’re so used to being there with him,” Fields said. “It’s all worth it, though. I have to take care of business, so I can provide for him.”


rtwngr 9 years, 4 months ago

What a nice article about another illegitimate child born to one of KU's scholarship athletes out of wedlock. Sherron Collins got the last feature article as I recall. The good news is Mr. Fields is taking responsibility for his child. I am unclear about when media day was but I have the impression that he impregnated his girlfriend after only being boyfriend/girlfriend a short time. Oh, and I love the part about government assistance only lasts so long. One last word Mr. Fields: Abstinence! Keep it in your pants.

mom_of_three 9 years, 4 months ago

You recall wrong, but that is beside the point.I like the article. Fields sounds like he has taken full responsibility for his son, even babysitting, which a lot of young men will not do. Accidents do happen, you know, and not everyone is married when their kids arrive, even non-athletes.

TheYetiSpeaks 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey rtwngr- I have a feeling the reason you preach from your pulpit is because of the jealousy you feel due to the fact that no woman wanted to have sex with you until you duped your wife into thinking that personality is the only thing that matters, not looks. I wonder if she got depressed when she realized you possessed neither.

repaste 9 years, 4 months ago

responsibility is good to hear, government assistance is funny as well, Accidents do happen, the point is, is this a feature worthy story on how to or how not to? rtwng it is called a condom.

Kookamooka 9 years, 4 months ago

I loved this article and I am so proud of the commitment this player has to his family. It's a strong motivation to be the very best he can be in all aspects of his life. Way to go!

Jay_Z 9 years, 4 months ago

Rtwngr--you are a moron, please STFU.

Clickker 9 years, 4 months ago

Yeah Rtwngr--STFU...I mean how dare you make a comment about personal responsibility and obligations!! The world would be much better off if we all could just procreate at will, and let the government help us out until the cash runs out. Shame on you.

Luxor 9 years, 4 months ago

way to glorify the birth of another illegitimate leech on the government teat, LJW.

KSChick1 9 years, 4 months ago

Just an FYI, it's not called "babysitting" when it's your own child. I get so sick of hearing that. It makes it sound like it's the mother's total responsibility, and if the father has to be alone with the child for a while, he's "babysitting". You're "taking care of your child" and that's what it's called.Geez.

appleaday 9 years, 4 months ago

It's not an "illegitimate leech." It's a child.

morganlefay 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree, you nay-sayers do need to STFU! Why can't you wish this man luck for a successful career so he can provide a good life for his family now?! He's taking responsibility for his actions, which is so much more than I can say about other people in this society. We weren't all born with a silver spoon in our mouths, ready to judge others. Some of your people are just plain pathetic.

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

It's interesting how losers on here want to force women to have unwanted children, yet they don't want this child to receive any government assistance. You can't have it both ways, idiots.

Katara 9 years, 4 months ago

So where are all the articles about all the other college students who get knocked up and take care of their children while going to school and perhaps also working a job to support their family? Are they not special enough to warrant an article like this fine upstanding responsible young man?

missmagoo 9 years, 4 months ago

why are the illegitimate children of KU athletes news? i had a baby recently (but not out of wedlock), please do a story on me!

Christine Anderson 9 years, 4 months ago

The reason it's best for children to be born to married couples is because the baby USUALLY has a more stable environment, Not always.It's one thing to "talk a good game" (no pun intended), and another to walk out the staggering responsibilities of raising a child. If this young man actually does what he says he is going to do as far as taking care of this little boy, then he can get our congrats without reservation.Oh, shame on the duckhead who referred to this little baby as a "leech". Show some decency, please.

yankeevet 9 years, 4 months ago

Aren't you suppose too be married before you have babies??? Perhaps the rules have changed.......... What do you do with a degree in African studies???Is this KU football player some kind of hero?I know plenty of Kansas soldiers who are REAL HEROES......

Strontius 9 years, 4 months ago

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Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 4 months ago

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Christine Anderson 9 years, 4 months ago

Invictus:Hey, chill out. The clothes could easily have been given to the baby as a gift. And just because his parents receive assistance, why should this mean the baby can't have these clothes?? I strongly suspect the C.K. was a gift. When my now 20 yr. old was born, her father and I were both still students. Shoot, we couldn't afford anything. People from our church gave us wonderful baby clothes, some purchased, others handcrafted.The idea was not to congratulate us on an unwed pregnancy, but to give unconditional love and support after the child was already on the way.That's why I said earlier, let's just see if he walks it out, as far as taking care of the baby. Some fathers actually do follow through on their committment. Perhaps this guy is one of them. Let's hope so.Now, relax a minute about the public assistance bit. Having been there, I can tell you that once his time at KU is up, the State will require he take a job, esp. since he did earn a degree. Also, it's possible that by "government assistance", he meant health insurance for the mother and baby, which is the compassionate AND prudent thing to do!

somebodynew 9 years, 4 months ago

And, while unlike me - I am going to refrain from commenting on this post, because I would just be incendiary, probably, get blanked, and cause a fire-storm.(It has been one of those days.)

fascinating_person 9 years, 4 months ago

"What a nice article about another illegitimate child born to one of KU's scholarship athletes out of wedlock." -rtwngrDo the phrases "illegitimate" and "out of wedlock" in the same sentence cancel each other out?

daddax98 9 years, 4 months ago

neocons only consider them "babies" and "blessings" and "life" while still in the womb. After birth they become "leeches" and "illegitimate" and God knows what else. Next time I hear that "it's not a choice it's a life" crap I will happily throw comments from this article in your faces

Jay_Z 9 years, 4 months ago

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Christine Anderson 9 years, 4 months ago

Dadda, just know not everyone is that way. It wasn't that way in my case 20 years ago.

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 4 months ago

There is no illegitimate child, we are all brothers and sisters in God and all loved.I am proud of our swim team. Here is some of the latest news. Kansas swimming and diving won the Kenyon Invitational Championship with 1319 points on Saturday night. The Jayhawks took the top spot in six events on Saturday. KU was led by wins in both the 200 Medley Relay and the 400 freestyle relay. Way to go KU. Anyone want to hazzard a guess as to why the basketball and football teams get more press?By assistance I thought he meant a scholorship from KU. Okay, I am getting old. I do think it would be nice if they got married, and he got a nice job and she was a stay at home mom, at least until the children, there might be more, are older, and she likes being a mom and hugs them and loves them. And, they get a puppy.

yoornotmee 9 years, 4 months ago

You're all silly.Although, I agree that he's not babysitting, he's taking care of his own child like he should.Also, slow news day? I'm pregnant; do a story on me :p(Except I'm not interesting.. 21 years old, married, homeowner, will be a SAHM, will homeschool.. see, boring! Maybe I should join the mafia.. liven things up a bit..)

ottmike 9 years, 4 months ago

It's good to know you liberals don't give a damn whether a child is born IN or OUT of wedlock. Don't teach MY children that garbage! We (The Journal World) HONORS two so called 'men' who can't get the ring and a date BEFORE the children get here! That seems to be the 'norm" in the Journal World though I see, Sally I-don't have his last name and sperm donor are proud parents of a bastard child. No wonder the world is in a mess!!

Mike Blur 9 years, 4 months ago

Apparently, neocon hero Sarah Palin doesn't give a damn whether her grandchild is born in or out of wedlock either, or she would have pulled out the shotgun on good ole Redneck Levi by now.(BTW, Bristol's 12 days late--shouldn't she have popped the kid by now?)

Mike Blur 9 years, 4 months ago

Also, to those of you who deride Dexton's degree in African-American studies--keep this in mind.Our current President--(for only 23 more days, Thank Freaking God)--has an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and has presided over the most catastrophic economic collapse since the Great Depression. If Dexton does nothing with his degree, he will have contributed more good to society than Dubya has.

Mike Blur 9 years, 4 months ago

Finally, to those of you criticizing Dexton for receiving government assistance raising his child:The few thousand dollars he and Kelsey have received is a pittance in comparison to the $85-billion plus that the wealthy, old, white executives of AIG have gotten from us taxpayers. (Those same executives we have bailed out, who have taken 3 posh vacations since AIG tanked.)Face it, righties, you have nothing to complain about. This is the socialist society that Bush has created for us. (Just pray to your God that Kelsey and Dexton did not have an abortion!)

smarty_pants 9 years, 4 months ago

Okay, he can't work a job if he's a scholarship athlete. So that means he can't pay child support. So you and I pick up the tab for his kid. Hello...KU? What's wrong with this picture? Oh, and multiply this by the number of children fathered by current scholarship athletes. But you can be sure the KU Athletic Corp won't let you know how many deadbeat fathers they have on the scholarship roles, including those who were recruited.

rtwngr 9 years, 4 months ago

I think Mr. Fields is to be congratulated for taking responsibility for his child. I was merely pointing out that it would have been better if he had taken responsibility before he impregnated his girlfriend. Two heads are not better than one when the second head keeps the first from thinking clearly.I loved the "accidents happen" blog. So tell me again why the school nurse can give my child a condom?

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