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Yesterday Outkick the Coverage wrote this editorial calling into question why Oklahoma University was giving a second chance to running back Joe Mixon ,who was never suspended from school despite punching a female student and fracturing four of the bones in her face, while immediately expelling two fraternity members for a racist chant on video.
In essence the Outkick article asserted that President Boren was applying a double standard in the way he reacted to a football player’s violent act towards a student on video and the way he reacted to a normal student’s racial slur on video. This morning Outkick contacted Oklahoma’s president to request a comment on this double standard.
Here is that comment from President David Boren to Outkick:
“There is no double standard at the University of Oklahoma. We punish bad behavior without regard to race. He (Mixon) was suspended from the team for a year and was not allowed to play. He was also ordered to perform community service, which he has completed. We punish bad behavior without regard to whether a person is an athlete or non-athlete, black or white. It is sheer and utter nonsense to make such a statement. We are colorblind at the University of Oklahoma and make no distinction between athletes and non-athletes. We have even taken one case to the state Supreme Court to enforce the findings of our internal disciplinary process under Title IX, in a case involving a student athlete.”
Sheer and utter nonsense?
That’s an interesting comment considering the following two public comments from Boren that I’ve replicated from Outkick’s article yesterday.
Boren said the following about the SAE fraternity members: “It was unbelievable that this could have possibly occurred with UO students. Sooners are not racists. They’re not bigots. They are people who respect each other and care about each other.”
He demanded zero tolerance for racist statements on campus and expelled two students.
Just about every single person applauded his comments and actions, they were strident, powerful, and accurately reflected his distaste for the student’s opinions. The Oklahoma football team staged a protest that was well covered and adorned with praise. This was a positive sports story, Sooner athletes sending the right message about how they wouldn’t tolerate racist comments on a college campus, a place that theoretically exists to expand knowledge and eliminate closeted thinking.
Only here’s my problem with the Oklahoma football team’s stand.
Less than a month ago they allowed Joe Mixon, a talented running back videotaped punching a female student in an off-campus bar, back onto the football team after a year long suspension just from the football team. Yep, Mixon punched a female student and was never even kicked off campus. The punch was so violent that his female victim, a Sooner student, suffered a fractured jaw, a broken cheek bone, a broken nose and a fractured orbital bone near her left eye. Oh, and Mixon also began the incident, according to the complaint, by directing a gay slur at the woman’s male companion at the bar.
What did President David Boren say in that case?
“The judicial outcome and the video speak for themselves,” Oklahoma President David L. 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 will be given a chance to “earn his way back on the team.”
Oh, so the star running back gets a second chance for breaking four bones on a female student’s face on video after a gay slur, but the guys in a frat don’t get a second chance for saying something racist on a video?
I guess it’s a real shame the SAE’s on the video weren’t really good at football.
Then maybe they’d get a second chance like Joe Mixon.
Or maybe President Boren is right and our entire column comparing these two situations is “sheer and utter nonsense.”
One thing we can all be certain of — President Boren’s decision to expel the two fraternity members is definitely sheer and utter nonsense when it comes to Constitutional law. At least if you think the First Amendment still exists in this country.