Late on Friday afternoon, just as the last full weekend before Christmas began, the video that Oklahoma fought for years to keep you from seeing finally went public. Star running back Joe Mixon delivers a crushing right hand to a woman enrolled at Oklahoma. The punch was so violent that his female victim suffered a fractured jaw, a broken cheek bone, a broken nose and a fractured orbital bone near her left eye. Her jaw was wired shut for months. Oh, and Joe Mixon, star tailback at Oklahoma, also began the incident, according to the criminal investigation, by directing a gay slur at the woman’s male companion at the bar.
You can watch the video here.
Amazingly, after three men in positions of prominence at Oklahoma — head coach Bob Stoops, athletic director Joe Castiglione, and school president David Boren — watched this video they decided to allow Mixon to remain enrolled at Oklahoma. Mixon has since played football ON A SCHOLARSHIP for the past two seasons. It’s an indefensible reaction that should cost all three men their jobs.
You’ll recall that when the Ray Rice video went public everyone asked whether or not the NFL and Roger Goodell had ever seen the video. The idea was that if the NFL executives had seen the video there’s no way they could have been that lenient in their punishment of Ray Rice. Here all the people in positions of power at Oklahoma saw the video. It wasn’t just that they knew something bad happened and read about it, it was that they watched the exact same video that all of you just did and decided Mixon deserved to remain on scholarship. The video removes zero doubt about what happened in this case.
Oklahoma running back coach Cale Gundy even lauded Mixon to the press: “He made a split-second and wrong decision, and he knows that. He is a super, super kid.”
If Mixon is a “super, super kid,” can you imagine how much Cale Gundy must love all the other kids on Oklahoma’s campus, the ones who haven’t nearly killed a girl who weighs a hundred pounds less than them? (And stop with your idiotic “self defense” comments. This girl shoved Mixon. She wasn’t a threat to him at all. This is not self defense. Not even remotely close to it. I also don’t care what she said to Mixon. None of that remotely comes close to justifying his punch.)
Bob Stoops should be gone and so should athletic director Joe Castiglione. Both men have dodged virtually all criticism in this incident because they’re well liked by the media. Turns out if you return phone calls and text messages to the media you get the benefit of the doubt from the national media when your star running back breaks a fellow student’s face in four different places. I’m the only college football writer with a substantial audience who has even written a column going after Stoops or Oklahoma for this incident. That’s unbelievable. ESPN employs an entire cavalcade of writers and commentators and virtually no one has weighed in at all.
The fix is in, Stoops is a good guy, everybody keep quiet! Let’s all debate Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey not playing in their bowl games instead!
Even still, it’s not surprising that a football coach and his athletic director would argue that a star player should stay in school even when a violent and indefensible incident like this is on video. After all, if you want to win in major college athletics you have to sell your soul at some point. The more star players you have, the more games you win. And not all star players are saints. Plus, what if Mixon went to a junior college for a year and then transferred back to another Big 12 school and ended up victimizing Oklahoma on the football field? Well, then at least Stoops and his AD would know in to a tiny degree what it felt like to be one of Joe Mixon’s victims.
All of this doesn’t mean that Stoops and Castiglione shouldn’t be fired, they both should, but it means that I’m not surprised by their actions. Football coaches defend star football players. But shouldn’t someone in a position of power have watched this video and said that Mixon didn’t belong at Oklahoma?
What about the NCAA?
The NCAA doesn’t care about Joe Mixon breaking a fellow student’s face in four places. But if Mixon had stopped to sign an autograph and gotten paid for it on his way out of the bar that night, he would have been ineligible.
That’s the NCAA for you — the 9/11 terrorists would have still been allowed to play sports under NCAA bylaws.
Okay, well what about school president David Boren?
Remember, he watched the video too.
As a school president you’re supposed to have the entire campus in mind, not just the football team. What would David Boren tell the girl who attended Oklahoma and had her face broken in four places by Joe Mixon? How could he possibly argue to the parents sending kids to his school that Oklahoma’s campus is as safe as he can possibly make it when he keeps a violent felon on scholarship because he’s hard to tackle when he’s running with a football?
All you really pay a school president for is his judgment. David Boren watched that video that all of you just watched, the one where one student broke another student’s face, and was fine with keeping Joe Mixon on scholarship. Not just keeping him in school, mind, you, ON SCHOLARSHIP.
That alone should cause Boren to be fired. It would, anyway, if a single person at Oklahoma had an ounce of decency.
This is exactly what happens when even the school president is more worried about beating Texas than he is educating and protecting non-violent students on campus.
Maybe right now you’re thinking to yourself, okay, but there are thousands of students on campus. Boren doesn’t involve himself in investigating the behavior of individual students, does he? Well, you’d be wrong. Here’s what Boren said when two frat guys at Oklahoma were recorded on video singing a racist song during an off campus trip: “It was unbelievable that this could have possibly occurred with UO students,” Boren said, “Sooners are not racists. They’re not bigots. They are people who respect each other and care about each other.”
Unless, you know, they play football and break a fellow female student’s face in four places.
Boren demanded zero tolerance for racist statements, even if they were made off campus, and expelled the two frat members for their behavior.
So what did school president David Boren have to say when he watched Joe Mixon violently assault a fellow student on video? “The judicial outcome and the video speak for themselves,” Boren said. “The University is an educational institution, which always sets high standards that we hope will be upheld by our students. We hope that our students will all learn from those standards, but at the same time, we believe in second chances so that our students can learn and grow from life’s experiences.”
Boren said Mixon deserved a right to “earn his way back on the team.”
Well, isn’t that nice. The star running back gets a second chance and stays on scholarship, but the two frat guys who are paying tuition get kicked out of school.
Quite the double standard there.
And don’t even start with the “Bob Stoops is just trying to help this poor kid” argument. That’s total crap. If Mixon wasn’t a star player, he’s gone. You think Stoops and the school president and the AD are all advocating for the guy to stay in school if it were a walk-on linebacker who would never play? Of course not. They would have kicked that guy to the curb in a heartbeat.
Look, I think every parent reading this right now would hate for his or her son to ever be recorded saying something racist. But if you had to choose between your son being caught making a racist comment off campus on a private video or your son breaking a girl’s face in four places in a violent physical attack, is there anyone out there who picks the violent attack?
Mixon shouldn’t be playing football anywhere, he should be in jail.
So what happened there? Well, the Oklahoma “justice department” allowed Mixon to get off for this punch, which could have easily killed this girl, with only 100 hours of community service.
One hundred hours of community service!
Are you kidding me?
The moment Mixon broke this girl’s face, the fix was in. Mixon got a great lawyer for free; it isn’t an NCAA violation to get millions of dollars in free legal fees when you commit a crime. That lawyer managed to get a plea agreement with minimal penalties handed down and that plea agreement then kept this video from being released for over two years. It took the local media taking this case all the way to the Oklahoma supreme court for this video to finally come out.
Mixon’s “punishment” from Oklahoma?
He redshirted for a year and got bigger, stronger and faster. Then he returned to Oklahoma football and said he had a message for everyone out there.
Why did Mixon think his haters were unjustified in their hate? Because Oklahoma had taught him an important life lesson, one that he knew already, but hadn’t seen in practice yet.
If you’re hard enough to tackle while you carry a football, you can get away with any act of violence towards a woman.
Don’t believe me?
Just ask O.J. Simpson.
If anyone at Oklahoma had a conscience, Joe Mixon would have never played for the Sooners. And if anyone at Oklahoma had a brain, Bob Stoops, athletic director Joe Castiglione, and school president David Boren would all be fired.