A development Thursday could ultimately pave the way for a suspended player’s return to the North Carolina football team.
Thursday, the attorney for Allen Artis released a statement indicating that his client, after a “thorough investigation,” has been notified by UNC’s Title IX office that he “did not violate” any university policy. A UNC student, sophomore Delaney Robinson, alleged in both a statement and press conference in mid-September of last year that she was raped by Artis on Valentine’s Day earlier that year.
— Julia Sims (@WRALJulia) April 6, 2017
According to Robinson, she reported the alleged rape to university police as well as the university’s Title IX office. Additionally, she went to a local hospital after the alleged sexual assault, where evidence was collected in a rape kit. Robinson’s father said his daughter, who has acknowledged drinking that night, immediately reported the alleged sexual assault.
In a statement, Denise Branch, Robinson’s attorney, said her client is “shocked and dismayed” that UNC’s Title IX office failed to hold Artis accountable.
“Ms. Robinson is shocked and dismayed by the failure of UNC Title IX office to hold Mr. Artis accountable for his actions,” Branch’s statement said. “She has appealed this initial finding which is subject to further administrative review.
Artis, who has claimed throughout that the sex was consensual, was indefinitely suspended by the football program the day after Robinson’s press conference. Artis is still facing two misdemeanor charges of sexual battery and assault; a trial date in that case hasn’t yet been set.
It’s likely that the university and football program are awaiting the results of that criminal case, as well as the appeal, before deciding what if any future Artis has with the Tar Heels as both a player and student.
In 2014 and 2015, Artis played in 25 games for the Tar Heels. He had played in both games to start the 2016 season before the off-field issue surfaced.