University of Kansas student-athlete Anthony “Pooka” Williams Jr., will rejoin Kansas Football this week after a seven-month suspension from all team-related activities as a result of a domestic battery charge in December. Williams has been suspended for the Jayhawks’ first game Aug. 31 against Indiana State.
Due to federal privacy law, KU does not typically disclose the outcomes of specific conduct investigations. In this case, Williams has given the university permission to disclose the sanctions imposed on him.
In addition to the game suspension imposed by Kansas Athletics, the university’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards has required that Williams be subject to probation until he graduates, attend monthly meetings with a university conduct officer, complete 40 hours of community service, and complete a sexual violence accountability course through the university’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center.
These university-imposed stipulations and requirements are in addition to those of his diversion agreement with the district attorney’s office, which require that he undergo a domestic violence offender assessment, complete an anger management course and fulfill 40 hours of community service.
Williams was suspended by Kansas Athletics following his arrest Dec. 6 on suspicion of domestic battery and has missed all football-related activities since then, including spring practice. Additionally, at the time of his arrest, the university initiated its student conduct process through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, as is standard university practice.
“Pooka’s behavior last December was unacceptable as a member of any community, especially our university community,” said Jeff Long, KU’s director of athletics. “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. During that time, he has gone through an extensive legal process as well as a comprehensive university conduct process, both resulting in sanctions and penalties.
“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,” Long continued. “Pooka will be permitted to continue his education and football career provided he continues to meet the requirements of his diversion agreement and University Conduct sanctions. We will continue our educational efforts with Pooka and with all our student-athletes regarding our expectations of them as representatives of the university.”
“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.”
“Pooka has taken responsibility for his actions and we are happy he is back with the team,” said Coach Les Miles. “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.”