UNC player cleared of rape accusation granted extra year by NCAA

Allen Artis takes questions from members of the media Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016 in Durham, N.C. Artis, a North Carolina football player facing charges of sexual battery and assault on a female student says the two had consensual sex and that he did not rape nor drug her. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

North Carolina safety Allen Artis was suspended for most of the 2016 season after being accused of sexually assaulting a female student. Artis was exonerated the following summer and reinstated to the football team, appearing in 12 games for the Tar Heels in 2017.

Now, Artis can return to the field in 2018.

Artis’ attorney told the Associated Press Thursday that the NCAA granted Artis’ appeal for an additional year of eligibility. Artis played in UNC’s first two games in 2016 before his arrest, so he will miss two games in 2018. From there, he will be eligible to suit up once again for the Tar Heels.

“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 told the AP.

Artis was arrested for misdemeanor sexual battery and assault in September 2016 stemming from an alleged February 2016 incident. A female student accused Artis of raping her. Artis claimed the sex was consensual and the charges were dismissed in June 2016. North Carolina also ultimately determined Artis did not violate campus policy, his attorney said.

“UNC made the decision to suspend Allen based on the information they had at the time,” Artis attorney Kerry Sutton told the AP. “Unfortunately, and as we now know, some of the information they based their decision on was untrue.”

Artis had 11 tackles in 12 games as a reserve in 2017. Prior to his suspension, Artis combined for 19 tackles in 25 games over his first two seasons with the program in 2014 and 2015.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!