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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Les Miles: No timetable for RB Pooka Williams’ possible return

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. (1) runs the ball against Texas defensive back P.J. Locke III (11) during the second quarter on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. (1) runs the ball against Texas defensive back P.J. Locke III (11) during the second quarter on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

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While almost all of the 90-plus players listed on the Kansas football roster suited up Wednesday, sans shells and pads, for the first day of spring practice inside the program’s new indoor facility, running back Pooka Williams was nowhere to be seen.

KU football coach Les Miles said afterward that there is no timetable for the possible return of Williams, charged this past December with domestic battery.

“It’s an ongoing process and it’s not one that we’re going to mess with in any way,” Miles said.

When a Dec. 5 incident in which Williams, 19, was accused of punching an 18-year-old woman in the stomach led to charges, Miles responded at the time by suspending the running back from KU football activities indefinitely, pending further investigation.

The Douglas County District Court granted Williams a diversion in the case, but as of Wednesday, no record existed of one being filed. Williams last appeared in court in February, when a trial date for the case was set for June 3.

Williams’ attorney, Hatem B. Chahine, stated previously he asked for a later trial date to give both sides time to sort out a diversion agreement.

The Jayhawks’ offensive star in 2018, Williams, who played in 11 games, rushed for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns, caught 33 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns, and accounted for 246 yards on kickoff returns as a true freshman.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound back from Louisiana earned first-team All-Big 12 honors from both the conference’s coaches and the Associated Press in 2018.

Miles first referenced Williams during his media session Wednesday evening while discussing the team’s running back depth.

“We don’t have one of the running backs that we will eventually — and we’ll see if we can have him,” Miles said.

Comments

Mike Hart 1 week, 4 days ago

“We don’t have one of the running backs that we will eventually — and we’ll see if we can have him,”

Well-stated, Les. We’ll have him eventually and we’ll see if we have him. Got it...

Chris DeWeese 1 week, 4 days ago

Miles' statement about Pooka might have been a bit incoherent, but I choose to be optimistic.

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 4 days ago

I think the second part of the statement was to imply clearly that all steps have not been taken for his return. Now Coach expects it to work out but cannot say it has worked out until all those things are done.

Chris Bailey 1 week, 3 days ago

Am I the only one who thinks Pooka should be kicked off the team? This behavior cannot be tolerated in any way! I’m sorry he made his decision by laying his hands on a woman. In my opinion he’s trash and should be taken out like the rest of the garbage. Move on and let the men play. Send this thug home. I don’t dont care how good he is and what he means to the team. Allowing him to play sends a message that this behavior is ok. And it is not ok, period!

Glen Miller 1 week, 3 days ago

There could be a lot underneath this iceburg. I believe that Miles would have cut him loose if it was as cut and dry as you make it sound. Women are instigating things a lot more now and then crying wolf. I agree you don't lay hands on a woman as a man, but let's let the justice system play out before we demonize him like he's a predator or something. I would think if it was as simple as him just getting mad and laying a woman out, he'd be gone already. Miles wouldn't want his reign to start like that. I wouldn't think.

Chris Bailey 1 week, 3 days ago

Very true Glen it just seems that these athletes do this time and time again. We've seen this happen many times where a player does something that puts him in a bad situation. I'm just tired of it happening and sending a message that we don't put up with it, to me, is important. It's only my opinion and of course I'm for second chances if someone truly learns from it. I just know as a father if someone hits my daughter they're gonna meet me face to face and they won't like the outcome. I don't care what or who they are and I may take a beating but they will walk away knowing they'll never cross that line again.

Glen Miller 1 week, 3 days ago

I don't blame you for feeling as you do as a father. I do get it, I'm not slighting your opinion at all. I just hope this was blown out of proportion, but if he's in the wrong he needs to go. This is one of those things you can't let slide in my opinion. I'm just trying my best to give him his due process, as hard as it is.

Chris Bailey 1 week, 3 days ago

I understand and I don't mean to sound as though I don't understand. Your cool head is the better way to approach it no question. I hope whatever the outcome he learns from it.

Mark Bowers 1 week, 3 days ago

I know I may take some heat for this; but it's my opinion and I accept that people have knee jerk reactions. My thought is how does it benefit anyone involved to simply turn your back on someone that obviously needs help? What kind of message does that send, that if you make a mistake that your future is destroyed forever? If a person can learn and change and hopefully help others, shouldn't that be the goal, not piling it on and using questionable words like "thug" or "garbage"? If we as a society care about the future leaders of society, than we should offer a path towards rehabilitation, not a path that just punishes and gives no hope. This doesn't mean that I condone any type of violence, but I do believe that people are capable of changing and learning from their mistakes. If that's possible in this case, I hope that's what happens. Like I said, just my opinion. Rock Chalk everyone!

Allin Herring 1 week, 3 days ago

Gee Mark the way you make it sound we all get to hit at least one woman in our lives so we can get your "path rehabilitation". That kind of thought is what is getting us to where we are today. Some where we need to go back to you" pay for the seeds you sow". That is not to say that there may be more to this story than what we have heard and is why I think Les is taking the stance he is taking right now. But I am over giving everyone a second chance for everything BS. We all want Pooka to play but he needs to do it the right way.

Chris Bailey 1 week, 3 days ago

Allin, I agree and this is pretty much how I feel. He may be a kid at 19 but he is capable of making decisions on his own. This behavior just flat needs to stop. You just can't hit a woman when you're pissed off. It's unacceptable. Of course I want him to play but not if this is the consequence we pay for having him on our team.

Mark Bowers 1 week, 3 days ago

You're taking my words and twisting them Allin. Where did I say violence was okay and just because I'm not getting dramatic, doesn't mean that I condone violence towards anyone. I do firmly believe that people should be given second chances if they deserve it and that a young person's future shouldn't be taken away, IF rehabilitation is possible. Gee Allin, does that help better explain my stance? You backtrack like a SOB too, just saying. I don't really care for drama and flare, I find it to be counter productive.

Chris Bailey 1 week, 3 days ago

Mark,

I respect your opinion and if the individual can and is willing to learn from it then sure I am willing to give them a chance. My problem is that anyone that raises their hand to a woman just doesn't get a pass from me. And my terms of thug and garbage apply to anyone that does this crap. It just isn't something I can condone in any way. You and I know that he could've done a number of things to diffuse the situation without throwing a punch. I just don't tolerate that kind of behavior. When my dad was in his youth (he's 66 now) if you laid your hands on a woman in that way he and his friends made sure you didn't do it again. That's how I was raised. My dad would still kick my butt to this day if I raised a hand to a woman or allowed another man to do so in my presence. In my opinion when you make a decision to do something like this you've made the decision that you don't care. We need to put our foot down as a society. I'm old school and believe in chivalry. Maybe that's not the way most young people are today but they don't get a pass in my eyes just because they're young. Again, you too are entitled to your opinion and I can definitely see where you're coming from I just can't allow that to happen without some serious remorse and outside intervention. If he does remain with the program he had better not screw up again. I just don't have much sympathy for this kind of behavior.

Dirk Medema 1 week, 3 days ago

It would be nice to think that we learned something from Bragg's situation. Wasn't it just 2 years ago that he was completely falsely accused? I'm not saying that the 2 situations will end up being the same, but there is definitely a similarity between the 2 in that we don't know everything about the situations and lack a foundation for making decisions.

Glad that Miles has taken the approach that he has, just as Coach Self did with Bragg. It is encouraging that Coach Miles appears to have slipped into more of what he thinks will happen vs. what he's publicly supposed to say.

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 1 day ago

Boy, I hope if I or any of my children are ever in a skirmish someone doesn't just conclude without a trial and conviction that I am trash and should be thrown out. I recognize FB players have more of these issues (or at least we hear more about them) than regular citizens but young people cannot be thrown by the wayside. Someone needs to train and teach them to grow up into responsible men. They can't do that from the trash heap.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

Women instigate. So its ok to hit them? So its ok to hit someone over an arguement? You are so ignorant. To try to blame or try to cast blame over a woman who has been hit is the sign of a coward.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

To try and blame any victin of violence is so beyond stupid.

Steven Haag 1 week, 3 days ago

Let the system play out. Many women make it out to be “murder” and it was minimal contact.....”rape” and it was a kiss. If he is guilty, then I’m sure he will be off the team, and rightfully so. No one is condoning abuse, just because we may not agree on the whole “innocent until proven guilty”, or the whole “can this young man be rehabilitated” doesn’t mean we are taking his side, or unsympathetic to the cause.

I made a terrible mistake early on in my military career. Thank God some of you weren’t the jury and executioner. My leadership gave me my punishment, but saw the potential and believed in second chances. Because of that, I spent 27 productive years, made friendships that endure to this day, spent time in Iraq, and retired with honor.

Let’s let the system play out before we pass judgement

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

So Glen if that was any female relative of yours, would you ask them what they did to provoke fheir assailant after they were hit by a man? You should be banned from this site.

Glen Miller 1 week, 3 days ago

I would want the truth and for my relative to be held to the same standard that anyone else would. Too many people lie to get money, power or even these days. I'm not the type to just believe everything I'm told because of what the world wants me to think. I actually do believe a man should not lay hands on a woman, I personally never would........ but there are a lot of liars and cheats out there now-a-days just looking to ruin lives or gain a quick buck. I want this process to be done the right way and if it's found that he was in the wrong, then he should be removed from the team. I however am still a believer in the innocent until proven guilty as it should be...... apparently you want to nail someone to the cross because of partial facts. Get a life and stop acting holier than thou. Maybe you should stay off the internet if you can't handle other folks having an opinion.

Chris Bailey 1 week, 3 days ago

I think what Kevin is getting at is that if your daughter said this would you believe her? I mean we have all seen how the Kavanaugh thing played out and yes people do try and ruin lives for no reason. I am fine letting this play out and as I said if he's guilty he needs to pay the price. I just know this is unacceptable behavior, period. If he didn't do this then sure let it be known because you are right that this happens often. My only doubt is as a college student what could she gain from lying? Doesn't seem like she'd get any money for something like this but who knows what goes through someones mind.

Glen Miller 1 week, 3 days ago

If it was my daughter, yeah I would hope that I could believe her and that I raised her well enough to know that this is as serious as it gets and she needs to be truthful good and bad. He was acting like I'm all about beating on women and he doesn't know me. I just think due process should happen here. They've already taken him out of team functions while it processes out and I'm sure will remove him if it is as severe as many think. No need to make it personal towards me though, just because he wants to hang him from a tree.

Chris Bailey 1 week, 3 days ago

We're on the same page and definitely no reason to take it out on you. I think Kevin just got a little emotional. Heck for all we know it could be his child or his child could've been in a similar situation. Either way no need to call you out.for stating an opinion which is most definitely welcome here any time. Not that you need me to validate it. I like discussion no matter the forum. It helps us solve problems. Discourse on any topic is good as long as we keep a cool head and don't belittle others. We all come from different backgrounds but we are all Kansas fans. We can definitely agree on that. :)

Dirk Medema 1 week, 3 days ago

Unfortunately, this is the same stick, and hasn't changed. Lots of respect for you Chris, in coming back centered. It's not the same for all.

Chris Bailey 1 week, 3 days ago

I listen to reason and I'm not without fault. I react before I think many times. Most of the time I am reasoned by others that keep me in check. I do hope there's a resolution but I don't want him on the team if he did this maliciously I guess that is a better way to word it. I hope for all involved that it was a misunderstanding and that this gets resolved. Should have never been in this situation.

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 1 day ago

To Chris, Of course we would believe our daughter, but that does not mean we would join in the lynch mob. We would encourage her like everyone else to trust the judicial system and consider everyone involved, yes, even the perpetrator. This thing will end with justice unless someone places his thumb on the scales. I would not let that be me.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 week, 3 days ago

This is completely different Steven. He admitted to hitting her. This isnt some woman just flapping her gums trying to embellish the facts HE ADMITTED TO HITTING HER. smh

Edward Daub 1 week, 3 days ago

Is Pooka enrolled in the spring semester? Is he attending classes? My assumption is Yes and Yes.

His Lawyer must be slow as molasses to need until June for a court date. The legal system does require that he is "innocent until proven guilty" regardless (I believe).

Brian Hosfelt 1 week, 3 days ago

so most of you say no second chance for Pooka but Chiefs Hunt gets second chance with the Browns, for millions of dollars...and after the vid and his lying about it surfaced...send Pooka to speak at battered women groups, let him learn that way.

Steven Haag 1 week, 3 days ago

Truth Glen. Too many people these days believing every word that comes out of people’s mouths and then want to execute to alleged perpetrator. He did admit to some type of punch or hit. Was it provoked? Was he defending himself? Some will say, no time, ever, ever, ever is it acceptable to lay hands on a woman. I agree with that statement 95% of the time. Let’s remember the dude is like 5’ 7” tall and 170. What if she was 6’ 0” and 210? What if she was kicking his a$$. From what I’ve read, she was at a party with a bunch of dudes and he got jealous. Doesn’t sound good for him, but I will wait for all of the facts to be made known first.

Again, let’s wait for the Investigation and see what the diversion holds. Les is much more adept at these types of things and I’m sure he will make the right decision.

Ray Winger 1 week, 2 days ago

BREAKING NEWS......DeepState leak....attorneys working a deal in 'Russian Collusion vs Trump' case information in exchange for leniency.

Jim Stauffer 1 week, 1 day ago

Good point. America spends millions supposedly looking for collusion and as soon as it is obvious there is none turns left at the fork in the road and begins to search for something illegal in the life of the individual they just found is innocent of the original charge. Yeah, our first reaction is always the best.

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