Kansas sophomore running back Pooka Williams has been reinstated to the program after being arrested for domestic battery back in December.
Williams was suspended by KU for one game — its season-opener against Indiana State — for allegedly punching a woman in the stomach and grabbing her by the throat.
Williams settled the case with a diversion agreement back in March.
“My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m very sorry to those who were impacted by my poor choices,” Williams said in a statement released by KU on Monday. “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.”
New Kansas athletic director Jeff Long also released a statement outlining the decision.
“Pooka’s behavior last December was unacceptable as a member of any community, especially our university community,” KU athletic director Jeff Long said in a release. “As a result, Kansas Athletics suspended Pooka from the football program in December when serious allegations were first brought forward, and he has remained suspended until now. … While suspended, Pooka has done all that has been required of him by the courts, the university and Kansas Athletics, and most importantly, has accepted responsibility for his actions.”
The Jayhawks are going to be bad this season, but they would have been worse without Williams. He rushed for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns as a true freshman last season, including a 252-yard performance at Oklahoma in November.
He gives new coach Les Miles a chance to move the ball in 2019 and beyond.