Five months after getting the boot, Austin Parker has been welcomed back.
Duke announced in a press release Wednesday that Parker has been reinstated to the Blue Devils football program. In December, the specialist was dismissed from both the team and the school after an initial suspension from the institution for a violation of university academic policy.
The school stated in the release that Parker “has been readmitted to Duke and begins the Summer I session today while resuming all football-related activities.”
“During this process, Parker has displayed humility and wisdom while, through his actions, regaining our trust,” a statement from head football coach David Cutcliffe began. “This certainly hasn’t been easy, but that’s the way life lessons can be taught. He went through the procedure for re-application to the school and, most importantly, continues his education here at Duke immediately with the first summer school session.”
This past season, Parker served as the Blue Devils’ starting punter and kicker. Parker led the team in scoring with 84 points in 2017 (17-21 field goals, 33-35 extra points) while also averaging just over 42 yards a punt. Amongst ACC players, Parker ranked fourth in field goals per game (1.42), tied for ninth in scoring (7.00 points per game) and 10th in punting average at the time of his dismissal.
The suspension and dismissal meant that Parker wasn’t available for Duke’s Quick Lanes Bowl win over Northern Illinois in late December.