Ashante Williams rejoins scout team

Updated: August 30, 2011, 4:45 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois junior linebacker Ashante Williams has been permitted to practice with the scout team after being suspended for a DUI arrest, Illinois coach Ron Zook announced on Tuesday.

"He's a semester away from graduation," Zook said. "I think it's important he graduates. He needs to get that degree. Obviously, he's on scholarship to get that degree. So if he's going to be on scholarship and graduate, he can be out there helping his teammates.

"He made a mistake. He knows he made a mistake, and he's paid for it very dearly. My first thing was making sure he got his degree."

Williams played in 13 games and had 19 tackles last season. He was expected to be a key contributor this season.

"There's no timeline on when he's going to be playing, but right now he's working with the team," Zook said.

Williams was arrested on July 30 in Urbana and charged with two counts of drunken driving. Court officials say the Mayfield, Ohio, native has not entered a plea. He is due in court Sept. 8.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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