OU Sends Message It Condones Violence Against Women

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(Mixon should be banned from ever playing football at OU and, if legally possible, expelled permanently from the university if he is convicted in the case. If that sensible decision doesn’t happen soon then Stoops and OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione should be fired or allowed to resign, and Boren should retire.)

The fact suspended University of Oklahoma football player Joe Mixon still gets to hang out with the team despite the serious criminal charge against him is an embarrassment for OU and the entire state.

It sends a message that we condone violence against women here, and it comes at a time when the national media is also focusing on Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens football player caught on video knocking out his then fiancé by a fist blow to her face.

The 18-year-old Mixon faces a misdemeanor charge of an “act resulting in a gross injury” after he allegedly hit a fellow 20-year-old female student in the face at a Norman restaurant on July 25. Like the Rice case, there is a video of the incident, which has been viewed by reporters.

According to one media report, a police affidavit claims Mixon "struck her on the left side of her face with his closed right first, knocking her into a table top and then to the ground where she laid motionless." Another police document, according to the same report, outlines how the young woman was diagnosed with a “fractured jaw, fractured cheek bone, fractured sinus and fractured orbit which caused a hemotoma on the left eye.”

Mixon has been suspended from the football team for one year by the university, a decision which I have argued in another post was basically siding with him in the case and ignoring the growing evidence that football breeds, promotes and condones violent behavior among its participants, especially violence directed against women.

Unfortunately, OU President David Boren was involved in the decision to only suspend Mixon for one year, and he’s apparently looking the other way as the university’s football program led by coach Bob Stoops continues to coddle him.

On Thursday, according to media reports, Mixon was with OU football players at a pep rally before Saturday’s game against the University of Tennessee. A photograph shows him surrounded by team players, who apparently are not overly concerned about the allegation against Mixon.

Let’s be clear: All this is reprehensible. The fact Mixon is still connected to the team absolutely sends a message the university condones violence against women. It is a violation of everything a university should stand for. It also opens up OU and state taxpayers even more to legal action. It’s an embarrassment for the entire state.

Mixon should be banned from ever playing football at OU and, if legally possible, expelled permanently from the university if he is convicted in the case. If that sensible decision doesn’t happen soon then Stoops and OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione should be fired or allowed to resign, and Boren should retire.

The fact that some 18-year-old wannabe college football player, accused of a violent crime, is apparently more important than the reputation of the state’s leading research university is a disgusting spectacle that should be difficult to endure for everyone here, but especially for educators in the state.

This is exactly how and why violence against women in our culture is perpetuated.

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