Sexual assault accusation led to suspension of Indiana RB Ellison

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Indiana running back Morgan Ellison (27) runs the ball during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Illinois, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. Indiana defeated Illinois 24-14. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb)

Running back Morgan Ellison may have played his last down at Indiana University after a panel there determined he sexually assaulted a female student.

A person with knowledge of the accusations confirmed the panel’s decision Thursday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the details have not been made public.

Ellison has not been charged with a crime and it was not immediately known whether he has an attorney. An athletic department official declined to comment, citing privacy laws.

In its findings, the school’s sexual misconduct hearing panel said Ellison should be suspended from Indiana for 2½ years and required to undergo counseling. During the hearing, Ellison denied using force and said the incident was consensual, the Star reported. He can appeal the decision.

Ellison led the Hoosiers in rushing in 2017 as a freshman but was suspended indefinitely before this year’s opener. Coach Tom Allen said last week that Ellison had returned to practice but he spoke the day before the panel’s decision, which is dated Oct. 3.

“He’s been allowed to be with our team recently, and we still have no answer yet for his game opportunities,” Allen said then. “But he’s been allowed to be around us on a consistent basis now, which has helped. But we still don’t know the long-term future yet, taking it day by day.”

The initial announcement of a suspension in late August said only that Ellison could not participate in football activities. It did not provide a reason for the suspension.

Ellison ran for 704 yards and six touchdowns in 2017 and was twice named Big Ten freshman of the week.

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