Mike Williams to return to SU in January

Looks like Mike will be back for spring ball. All kidding aside, good for him. The Story is below from


New Syracuse football coach Doug Marrone has only been on the job for 12 days, but it has seemed like the 12 days of Christmas for SU fans.

Defensive tackle Arthur Jones announced that he is staying for his senior season. Now, suspended star wide receiver Mike Williams says he's returning to Syracuse in January.

"When I come back out of that Carrier Dome tunnel, I might cry, man," Williams said. "That's going to be very emotional for me. That means I made it back and took advantage of that second chance."

Williams was suspended for a semester for violating the University's Academic Integrity Policy last fall. He was informed before the team's annual spring game.

"It was hard for me to take. I packed my bags and was going to give up and not do spring ball."

"I got claimed of cheating," Williams said. "I had my notes out before the exam. It was before the test happened...I'm not blaming nobody or nothing, it was my fault for having the notes out and I took responsibility."

The second-team All-Big East selection in 2007 says he was required to take classes and maintain a C average while away from Syracuse and prove to the school that he learned from his mistake before in order to reapply for the spring 2009 semester.

"Midterm grades came out and I got all Bs. It looks like I'm back in Syracuse in January."

But it wasn't easy.

"A lot of times I thought I'm done, my career is over, everything is over," Williams said.

Williams looked into the possibility of transferring to a FCS Division (formerly Division I-AA) school because he could be eligible to play immediately.

"But I feel like I'm dedicated to the program," he said. I let them down already and I need to come back."

He thought about enrolling at Onondaga Community College, just six miles from SU, or back home in Buffalo, but Williams took a bus all the way to Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts.

"If I would've went to OCC the media would've been there. I didn't want to be in the spotlight and I wouldn't have been able to focus. I felt like I had to get away from all that to get back into Syracuse."

Williams caught a touchdown in a school-record nine straight games in 2007, but Saturdays this year were lonely. There weren't any fans cheering for him when he reached the end zone. There wasn't a feeling of pride to put on an Orange jersey and do what he loves. The only feeling was an empty one.

"It was tough watching," Williams said. "Sometimes I'd turn the games off at halftime because I wasn't out there playing and helping them. I felt like I just left them out to hang. When I was suspended I let everything go down the drain."

But the thought of never stepping on the field again made him appreciate his life at Syracuse, and motivated Williams to become a better person and better athlete.

"It bettered me overall. I didn't treat it as a joke at SU, but overlooked some of the opportunities that I had," Williams said. "It's a privilege to have a full scholarship. I'm from a very bad place and you don't get many opportunities. That's why this second one I'm going to make well worth it in school and football. I've been working real hard."

Hard work can get him back into Syracuse University, but he hopes that Syracuse University fans and teammates will welcome him back. Williams would call many teammates to wish them luck before games and they would wish him good luck in Springfield. But he knows some Orange men are still upset that he let the team down.

"I've got to gain their trust back. I'm sorry to my teammates, and coaches I might have put in jeopardy. I hope people in Syracuse forgive me for it and I apologize to the fans and the university.

If actions do indeed speak louder than words, he's just not asking for forgiveness.

"I have to prove myself again. I'm not going to be another athlete who messed up his chances," Williams said. I'm going to cherish my time. You don't have a job before you have the interview and this is my interview. They say hard work pays off, and if that's true it's going to be a better Mike Williams."

On and off the field.

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