Phillips back on Penn State team after acquittal

Updated: August 29, 2003, 12:07 PM ET

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Anwar Phillips returned to the Penn State football team after his acquittal on sexual assault charges and could play as early as Sept. 7 against Boston College.

Phillips was not allowed to join the team until after Tuesday's verdict, and NCAA rules require players to practice at least five days before they can play.

"I don't see any reason not to have him on the team and see what he can do," coach Joe Paterno said on his radio show Thursday night. "I'd like to put this behind everyone, but I don't know if that's possible."

Phillips was acquitted of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance in her on-campus apartment.

Phillips, a defensive back, played in all 13 Penn State games as a redshirt freshman last year, earning his first of two starts just four days after the assault accusation.

He was expelled from the university for two semesters during a Dec. 12 campus judicial proceeding. He was allowed to play in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1 because his expulsion didn't start until the semester began in mid-January.

Because the two summer sessions count as a semester, Phillips was allowed to enroll again for the fall.

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