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FSU's Dalvin Cook found not guilty; school lifts suspension

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was found not guilty Monday of punching a woman outside of a Tallahassee, Fla., bar on June 23. A jury reached the verdict Monday after a one-day trial.

FSU announced the reinstatement of Cook, who had been suspended from the football team, shortly after the verdict was revealed. He is eligible to return to practice, effective immediately, per the school.

Cook had been charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly punching a woman in the face several times. The alleged victim testified that Cook became angry after she shoved a teammate and after she told him and the group he was with that she wasn't impressed that they were football players.

Three of Cook's teammates and a Florida State graduate student who stopped to watch Madison Geohegan and her friend argue with a group of players all said Cook never hit the woman during the June 23 incident. The trial lasted some 10 hours in the Leon County (Fla.) Courthouse, but the jury was out less than 30 minutes, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

"I'm just blessed the truth came out," Cook said on Monday. "I'm trying to go (to) work back on the field. I've been working, but it's time to get at it now."

Cook had previously been scheduled for a Sept. 2 arraignment, but a judge scheduled the trial for the week of Aug. 24. The move came after the Miami law firm of Farrell & Patel requested quicker action for Cook, who was barred from playing or practicing with the Seminoles while suspended.

After rushing for 1,008 yards on only 170 carries as a freshman last season, Cook is expected to lead the Seminoles' offense this season following the departure of star quarterback Jameis Winston, the No. 1 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

FSU opens the season against Texas State on Sept. 5.

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