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UNDERWOOD NECK WOUND SELF-INFLICTED

The attempted suicide of Dimitrius Underwood, the troubled Dolphins player who was found on a Lansing, Mich., street Sunday bleeding from a knife wound in the neck, was influenced by a "cult that's posing as a church," his mother said Monday.

Underwood, who cut his throat at his girlfriend's home, was upgraded to fair condition at Sparrow Hospital, according to a spokesman. A source told the Miami Herald that he is under heavy sedation so that he can be relatively comfortable and to ensure he does no further harm to himself.

Lansing police confirmed the knife wound was self-inflicted. The suicide attempt came after a three-hour long-distance call from his sister who desperately pleaded with Underwood not to kill himself. He grabbed the knife and cut his neck while visiting Chasity Dyer, the mother of his two children.

Underwood's sister, Andrea Underwood, said he will have a tube in his throat for the next 10 days while he recovers from the wounds. She also said her brother must undergo a psychiatric evaluation, mandated by Michigan law, as part of his recovery.

Lansing police spokesman Ray Hall said Underwood's wounds were self-inflicted but said no charges will be filed against him.

Underwood, a defensive lineman who was a first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings, made headlines recently when he walked out on the multimillion dollar contract with the Vikings, citing a conflict between football and his religion. The Dolphins signed Underwood to a $395,000 contract when the Vikings released him.

Eileen Underwood, Dimitrius' mother and an ordained minister, returned from a North Carolina crusade to her Philadelphia home Monday and learned her youngest of three children had tried to kill himself the day before.

Before she left for Lansing, Eileen Underwood said she wanted to speak out against "a cult that's posing as a church," which Underwood began attending while he was enrolled at Michigan State.

"There are controlling spirits in there," she said. "I visited one time and the pastor was talking about if a young man and woman in the church are dating and then they break up, he won't let them date anyone else for six months.

"That's not in the Bible. I know the Bible. That's just someone trying to control people. It's a den of witches sitting up in there."

Underwood declined to name the church. Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson opened his regular news conference Monday with a statement about Underwood but declined to answer questions on the subject.

"I have talked to the nurses there and have passed along the word that we are 100 percent supportive of him," Johnson said. "Our No. 1 concern is his health and his well-being."

Underwood will undergo an evaluation by Thursday, his agent, Craig Domann, said. The results will dictate the next step. If he is deemed competent, Domann said, the doctor will talk to the Dolphins about his condition and advise them on what he thinks they should do.

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