Kansas reinstates RB Williams

Kansas reinstated suspended running back Pooka Williams on Monday, though he will miss the season’s first game as part of his punishment for his December arrest.

Williams was arrested by university police and charged with domestic battery on Dec. 5, and the criminal charges were settled through a diversion program. Days after his arrest, then-newly hired head coach Les Miles suspended him from team activities.

In addition to sitting out the Aug. 31 game against Indiana State, Williams also must serve university probation until he graduates, attend meetings each month with a university conduct officer, complete 40 hours of community service and go through a sexual violence accountability course offered on campus.

These requirements are in addition to the terms stipulated in the diversion agreement with prosecutors.

As a freshman in 2018, Williams led the Jayhawks with 1,125 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. He also led the Big 12 with 1,660 all-purpose yards and was the conference’s Offensive Freshman of the Year.

In a university news release, Williams expressed his remorse.

“My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m very sorry to those who were impacted by my poor choices,” Williams said. “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.”

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long said Williams “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.”

Miles agreed.

“Pooka has taken responsibility for his actions and we are happy he is back with the team,” Miles said. “This young man has learned much throughout this process and we will support him as he continues working through the required educational and accountability steps.”