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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC football players react to charges against Allen Artis

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated Damien Washington's class year. Washington graduated in 2016 and is no longer on the football team. The story has been updated to reflect that change. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora said the team is treating the indefinite suspension of junior linebacker Allen Artis like any other absence.

“It’s just like anybody else,” Fedora said. “If you lose somebody to an injury or whatever the reason is, I mean, the next guy’s gotta step up.”

On Tuesday, UNC sophomore Delaney Robinson said she was raped in Ram Village on Feb. 14. She swore warrants charging Artis with misdemeanor sexual battery and assault on a female.

Artis turned himself in to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday, and he was released on a $5,000 bond Wednesday afternoon.

When asked if players were talking about what happened, senior running back T.J. Logan replied, “Not really.”

But players aren’t staying silent.

Sophomore defensive tackle Jalen Dalton tweeted Wednesday, “I stand with Allen Artis.”

First-year defensive back K.J. Sails retweeted Dalton. And Logan, former UNC wide receiver Damien Washington and first-year defensive tackle Marlon Dunlap liked the tweet.

“It definitely sucks,” Logan said. “Any time you lose one of your brothers, it sucks. But we’ve just got to keep playing for him, ‘cause hopefully he gets to come back. So I mean, we’re just going to keep playing for him.”

Football officials had no comment on players’ social media responses.

Fedora said Wednesday he tells his players at the start of the season that they can say whatever they want on social media. He said he just asks that they are prepared to defend their opinion. But he hasn’t addressed Artis’ charges with the team.

“We haven’t had the ability to do that yet,” Fedora said Wednesday. “We haven’t had a team meeting.”

Logan said he is confident the truth will come out.

“We know what’s going on,” Logan said. “We know what’s happening. There’s not really much we can do about that because it’s really the law handling that.”

Robinson’s attorney, Denise Branch, of the Raleigh firm Stuart Law, criticized UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office and the UNC Department of Public Safety for not taking action after investigating the case.

“Delaney Robinson had the courage to report she had been raped. In response, she has been treated with indifference, disrespect and inordinate delay,” Branch said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Delaney has been resolute since her attack on Valentine’s Day. Everyone should be accountable for their actions and we are pleased the process is finally moving forward.”

In response to the players’ comments on social media, no additional statement was given.

Fedora was not concerned about fallout for the football team because of Robinson’s allegations, despite an outpouring of criticism against Artis.

“I don’t know that our image has taken a hit,” Fedora said. “I mean, that’s up to you, for you to decide if you feel that way.”

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