Kansas running back Pooka Williams will play for the Jayhawks this season. In a statement released today, Kansas confirmed Williams has been reinstated by new head coach Les Miles. Williams will serve a one-game suspension, which will be served during the season opener against Indiana State. Williams agreed to a diversion agreement in March over an alleged domestic violence incident.
Williams was suspended by Kansas in December 2018 following an arrest related to suspicion of domestic battery. An arrest affidavit reported the alleged victim accused Williams of grabbing her by the throat and punching her in the stomach.
“My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m very sorry to those who were impacted by my poor choices,” Williams stated in a released statement distributed by Kansas 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.”
As part of his diversion agreement in March, Williams agreed to 40 hours of community service, going through an anger management course, and avoid alcohol and recreational drugs for 12 months. While he continues to fulfill those obligations, Williams will also be subject to guidelines mandated by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards on campus. According to a Lawrence Journal-World report, those requirements include being placed on probation for the remainder of his time at Kansas, regular meetings with a university conduct officer, an additional 40 hours of community service, and completion of a sexual violence accountability course through the university.
Williams rushed for 1,125 yards as a freshman for Kansas in 2018. He was named the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.