ORONO — Suspended receiver Micah Wright was given clearance Wednesday to return to practice for the University of Maine football team.

Wright, a junior, was cleared by both the school’s Student Conduct Office in the Division of Student Life and the athletic department to resume all activities with the team. Wright, who has attended classes during his suspension, can attend team meetings, study halls, practices and weight-lifting sessions, as well as play in games.

Wright was one of the three players suspended by the university at the start of training camp Aug. 2 while being investigated by the student conduct office for a student complaint.

School officials won’t comment on the investigation or what prompted Wright’s return.

“Regarding student conduct proceedings, the University of Maine does not comment,” said Margaret Nagle, the senior director of public relations and operations, in a press release.

Junior running back Darian Davis-Ray was cleared to return on Aug. 11. Junior defensive lineman Uchenna Egwuonwu is still suspended, according to the release.

Wright was greeted at practice with hugs and handshakes by his teammates and coaches. Wright came out wearing No. 21 at first, then changed into his No. 10 jersey before practice began. He participated in some receiving and conditioning drills.

Per NCAA practice rules, he has to practice two days in just his helmet, and two more days in just helmet and shoulder pads, before he can practice in full pads. It’s unlikely that Wright will play in Saturday’s game at James Madison.

Joe Harasymiak, Maine’s second-year head coach, said it’s too early to know when Wright will be able to contribute.

“Obviously he’s been cleared to come back to practice, come back to all football activities,” he said. “Today that starts with practice. After that we’ll just evaluate, get his legs under him and go from there.”

Wright, perhaps the Black Bears’ most dynamic offensive player, was a preseason all-Colonial Athletic Association selection. Wright led Maine with 44 catches for 668 yards and seven touchdowns last year. He also returned a punt for a touchdown. As a sophomore, Wright led Maine with 61 catches for 818 yards and five touchdowns.

Harasymiak said Wright was simply glad to be back with the team.

“He’s missed it,” said Harasymiak. “We’ll get him out here and let him run around.”

This was Wright’s second suspension at Maine.

He served a two-game suspension at the beginning of the 2016 season after being charged with disorderly conduct at a party on May 4, 2016, at an Orono apartment complex.

Wright admitted in court in September 2016 that he illegally possessed alcohol and paid a $300 fine. In his plea agreement, the disorderly conduct charge was dismissed.

MAINE IS as healthy as it’s been in a long time heading into its game with James Madison, the defending national Football Championship Subdivision champion and top-ranked team in the nation.

Safety DeAndre Scott has returned to practice after missing the game against Bryant with a concussion.

WHO’S KICKING? Harasymiak said it will be “a game-time decision” as to who will be Maine’s place-kicker against the Dukes.

Freshman Kenny Doak was brought in this year after the Black Bears made just 1 of 7 field goals last season. And while Doak is 3 of 5 in field-goal attempts (with one of the misses blocked), he has missed three PAT kicks – one in the fourth quarter of the opening 24-23 loss at New Hampshire and two blocked in the 60-12 win over Bryant.

Junior Brandon Briggs of Saco and Thornton Academy missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt in the win over Bryant, but connected on his one PAT kick. Briggs handles the kickoffs for the Black Bears.

“We’ll have them both kick again on Friday,” said Harasymiak, who was most concerned about the missed PATs.

After the Bryant game he said, “Extra points at Division I should be automatic. I shouldn’t even have to look, I shouldn’t have to think about it. It should go and it should be in.”

Maine won’t fill the suddenly open date on its schedule that came about when Central Florida canceled its Sept. 30 game because of a scheduling conflict caused by Hurricane Irma.

“Despite searching for a suitable opponent to fill the gap left by the UCF cancellation for Sept. 30, the University of Maine has determined it will not fill the void and will play a 10-game season for 2017,” Maine Athletic Director Karlton Creech said.

That means Maine will have a second bye following the James Madison game and leading into the Villanova game Oct. 7.

And that, said quarterback Chris Ferguson, might not be a bad thing. James Madison is ranked first in both the FCS coaches poll and the Stats FCS poll. Villanova is ranked eighth in the coaches poll, seventh in the STATS poll.

“We’d have two weeks to prepare for them and that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to get another bye to prepare for another team we lost to (last year).”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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