UTEP reinstates player who broke teammate's jaw

Updated: December 13, 2005, 8:38 AM ET
Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas -- UTEP's Jason Williams is back on the team following his suspension last week after punching a teammate and breaking his jaw.

Coach Doc Sadler made the announcement during a news conference Monday.

"I've got to make a decision based on what is best for our basketball program," Sadler said. "I took into consideration what happened, the people involved, their teammates, the coaching staff and the fans. Jason is reinstated today and will play on Saturday, and we will move forward."

Williams, a senior forward who averages 15.4 points a game for UTEP, practiced with the Miners during Monday afternoon's 2½-hour session and will play in the team's next game, Saturday against New Mexico State.

Sadler has said that Williams hit Stefon Jackson during a "very competitive practice." Williams has apologized for his actions.

"One of the biggest things has been my conversations with Stefon," Sadler said. "But it was not based on just that. It was also based on Jason's whole background. In 2½ years here he has never had a problem. He has gone to class and, if all goes well, will graduate on time. I also talked to the seniors on the team."

Jackson had surgery and is out for at least six weeks.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press