RALEIGH, N.C. — The NCAA has granted additional eligibility for a North Carolina player who missed most of the 2016 season amid charges of sexual battery and assault on a female student.
Those misdemeanor charges were dismissed and attorney Kerry Sutton told The Associated Press on Thursday that the NCAA granted an appeal this week allowing Allen Artis to play the 2018 season. The senior reserve safety must sit two games because he played in two games in 2016 before being indefinitely suspended following his arrest on the charges brought by the student.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn confirmed the decision to the AP but declined further comment.
“We asked the Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee to restore Allen Artis’ 2016 season of competition, and the committee has done so,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement to the AP.
Sutton said Artis — who had 11 tackles in 12 games last year — graduated last weekend in Chapel Hill and has been accepted into UNC’s Master of Accounting program.
“UNC made the decision to suspend Allen based on the information they had at the time,” Sutton said in a statement. “Unfortunately, and as we now know, some of the information they based their decision on was untrue.”
According to an arrest warrant, Artis had sex with the student against her will when he should have known she was “mentally incapacitated and physically helpless.”
The student, Delaney Robinson, held a September 2016 news conference with her attorney, saying she had filed for the misdemeanor charges after police and prosecutors indicated there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue felony charges.
Artis’ attorneys have said UNC determined he didn’t violate campus policy in his contact with the student, while a misconduct decision could have led to his expulsion. Attorneys were preparing to go to trial in July before Orange County district attorney Jim Woodall dismissed the misdemeanor charges because “the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties.”
Robinson’s attorney said at the time that they had worked “diligently at mediation” to reach a confidential resolution.
“I keep saying this,” Sutton said in her statement, “but every win we’ve gotten for Allen, at UNC, in court and now at the NCAA, feels like the best moment of my career.”
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