ATHENS, Ga. — With an admission that his action may not hold if more information surfaces, Georgia coach Mark Richt tentatively cleared the way for Brandon Williams to return to the football team Monday.
Richt said Williams, a cornerback, may return to the team's offseason conditioning program. Richt placed Williams on indefinite suspension on Jan. 16, at the same time Georgia basketball coach Jim Harrick suspended Steve Thomas and Tony Cole. Harrick lifted those suspensions last week, clearing the way for Thomas to play in Saturday's loss at Vanderbilt. Cole is still on the team, according to Harrick, but has to meet some other standards not specified by Harrick before he rejoins competition.
The three student-athletes were named in allegations, but have not been charged, in a Jan. 14 on-campus rape.
"Brandon is being allowed to return to our offseason conditioning program for the time being,'' Richt said in a statement released by the university.
"However, I regard the allegations that are still pending as serious and his status could change depending upon information that develops during the continuing investigation. His long-term status will be determined after the entire process has been completed.''
Results of the University of Georgia Police Department's investigation have been forwarded to the Athens-Clarke County District Attorney's office. It is not known when a decision will be made on following through with possible charges against any of the three.
Charles Odum can be reached at CEOdum@aol.com.