ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia coach Mark Richt announced Tuesday night that senior cornerback Brandon Williams has been reinstated on a probationary basis.
Williams, acquitted Friday of rape charges, will be able to practice with the team beginning today but will be suspended for the first three games of the season.
Williams will miss Saturday night's season opener against Clemson, as well as games against South Carolina on Sept. 14 and Northwestern State on Sept. 21.
"In accordance with the Athletic Association's Comprehensive Action Plan, Brandon does have the right to be reinstated after being cleared by the courts,'' Richt said in a statement.
Georgia basketball players Tony Cole and Steve Thomas still face trials as the result of the alleged attack on a female student last January at McWhorter Hall.
Before his legal problems, Williams was expected to be a top backup and potentially compete for a starting job. He played in 10 games last season and picked off a pass against Arkansas State. Williams has not been allowed to attend team meetings or practices this summer.
"He's going to be behind, no question,'' Richt said earlier Tuesday. "To say he couldn't play this year, I wouldn't say that.''
Added Richt of the fact Williams faced disciplinary action despite being cleared by a jury: ""A player of ours doesn't have to break a law necessarily ... to break one of our rules and have to go through the discipline of that. I'm dealing out discipline all the time for guys who make mistakes.''
Charles Odum is the beat writer for Dawg Post in Athens. He has over 20 years of experience covering Georgia football. He can be reached here: CEOdum@aol.com
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