Allen Artis reinstated to UNC football team

The reserve linebacker has been suspended since being accused of sexual assault last September. Charges against him her dismissed last week

Allen Artis said last week after sexual assault charges against him were dismissed that he wanted to keep his options open about playing football at North Carolina again. It’s an option that is now officially available to him. The reserve linebacker, who has been held out of action since last September, had his indefinite suspension lifted Thursday and is eligible to return to the Tar Heels if he chooses. “After conversations with Coach (Larry) Fedora and Allen, we have reinstated Allen to our football program immediately,” athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon. A 6-foot-1, 218-pound senior from Marietta, Ga., Artis was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery and assault on a female after a UNC coed accused him of having sex with her against her will at an athletic dormitory last Valentine’s Day. In April, however, UNC’s Title IX office ruled that “in the context in which it occurred,” evidence did not support a finding of forcible sexual assault and he was allowed to continue attending class. The charges against him were formally dropped last Thursday. Artis played sparingly for the Tar Heels in their first two games last season before being suspended indefinitely, making one tackle while playing mostly on special teams. Although Artis indicated that he was undecided about returning to the field during a press conference in front of UNC”s Old Well last week, his lawyer said Thursday that he is looking forward to resuming his athletic career. “Allen has been looked forward to his reinstatement for a long time,” Kerry Sutton said. “He has really missed being with his teammates and coaches and hopes to contribute to the team’s success this season.” Artis currently has only one year of eligibility remaining, but Sutton said that she and her client are working to restore the season he missed during his suspension. “We met yesterday with UNC’s NCAA compliance coordinator to request that Allen get the 2016-17 year of his eligibility back since he lost the season due to no fault of his own,” Sutton said. “If we succeed in that, it will be applied to the 2018 season.”