Robert Hall, a defensive end on Georgia Tech’s football team, will be allowed to return to the program and play this season, head coach Paul Johnson said Monday.
During the second day of the ACC Kickoff — the conference’s annual preseason media event — Johnson was asked to give an update on the situation concerning the embattled player, who was arrested last month for allegedly committing battery against his girlfriend, a former Georgia Tech athlete.
“Robert has almost finished community service,” Johnson said. “He has some things he has to take care of. Robert has performed everything that we have asked him to do.”
The news of Hall’s return, however, comes with a price. Johnson said he still will be forced to miss Georgia Tech’s first game as part of a team-mandated suspension. Originally, he was suspended indefinitely.
The Yellow Jackets host South Carolina State at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sept. 4 before traveling to Kansas the next week.
Hall’s arrest stemmed from an alleged altercation at his on-campus residence in the early-morning hours of June 6. According to a police report The Telegraph obtained from Georgia Tech Police, Hall and his girlfriend got into a verbal altercation over who was contributing the most money to a pool of scholarship monies they shared.
The altercation eventually spilled into a bathroom, where officers said they found blood on the wall. Officers also indicated that when they arrived, they noticed the female had cuts on head and blood on her shirt.
Hall was then arrested on the scene and taken to Fulton County Jail.
Three witnesses were named in the report and none indicated hearing signs of a physical altercation.
Normally a relatively mild-mannered — some could even argue quiet — player, Hall’s arrest painted him in a light most would not have immediately associated him with. When news of the arrest broke more than six weeks ago, some of those closest to him, including a former coach, told The Telegraph they were caught off guard to hear it.
A former standout at Hawkinsville, Hall won two high school state championships in 2003 and 2004 before coming to Georgia Tech.
In four seasons — he missed nearly all of the 2007 season with an injury and was later granted medical redshirt status for the year — Hall has started three games and amassed 31 total tackles.
Last year was expected to be the year he really took over and shined as a starter at defensive end, but a knee injury the third week of the season ran him from action for the rest of the year. He had already amassed 10 tackles.
As a result of the rehab process, Hall missed spring practices this past offseason, but is expected to be healthy enough to compete when training camp opens next week.