Kansas RB Pooka Williams reinstated to team, will serve one-game suspension to open 2019 season

Kansas star running back Pooka Williams has rejoined the team, though his punishment stemming from a domestic battery incident last December is not entirely over. 

In a university release, Kansas announced that while Williams is back with the Jayhawks, he will still serve a one-game suspension for the 2019 season opener against Indiana State. He had previously been suspended from all football-related activities by coach Les Miles; however, Williams was granted a diversion agreement at the start of the year, which he signed in March. The details of that program included refraining from alcohol and drug use for the next year along with 40 hours of community service, among other requirements. As such, his misdemeanor charge for domestic battery against an 18-year-old female victim was dropped. 

"My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm very sorry to those who were impacted by my poor choices," Williams said in a statement. "I am disappointed in myself, not just as a man, but as a student-athlete looked up to by younger kids. My suspension from football has been hard, but I have learned from it. I'm thankful I can continue with my education at KU. Looking ahead, the most important thing to me is to regain the trust and respect of my classmates, teammates, and fans. I am humbled to return to football and to prepare for the season."

In addition to his one-game suspension, Williams still faces more requirements from the school's Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. These include: probation until he graduates, monthly meetings with a university conduct officer, 40 hours of community service and completing a sexual violence accountability course. 

Williams was a four-star recruit out of Louisiana and the highest-rated player in Kansas' 2018 recruiting class. He led the team with 1,125 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns as a freshman last season while leading the Big 12 conference with 1,660 all-purpose yards. He was named the conference' Offensive Freshman of the Year.

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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