NORMAN - Prosecutors weeks ago declined to file sexual assault charges against Oklahoma starting linebacker Frank Shannon, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said Thursday.
The district attorney said Shannon was not charged based on the woman's wishes at the time and based on the facts that were presented.
He explained the woman said she did not want Shannon prosecuted. He also said it was unclear from the accounts of both the woman and the player "what had actually taken place."
Shannon's future at the University of Oklahoma will be determined through an appeals process there over the allegation that he sexually assaulted a female student at his off-campus apartment early on the morning of Jan. 20.
According to a Title IX sexual misconduct allegation report obtained by The Oklahoman, Shannon has been accused of attempting to forcibly have sex with a woman in his bedroom after the two left a party together.
Norman Police said police are investigating the matter, but declined comment and refused to release the incident report Wednesday night. The department also hasn't returned phone calls Thursday morning.
Mashburn said police have not re-presented anything to his office. He said of OU's action: "What they do as far as a school goes is totally separate and apart from a criminal investigation and charges."
Under Title IX, claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, misconduct and assault brought to the attention of most university staff must be reported.
Reached by telephone Thursday morning, Laura Palk in the OU Sexual Misconduct Office said she couldn't comment on disciplinary matters, but did offer a general overview of the process when a student is accused of violating the university's Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy.
When a complaint is received, the Sexual Misconduct Office begins an investigation entirely independent of any criminal investigation. Once it has been determined that a policy violation has likely occured, an investigative report is forwarded to the student conduct office.
The student conduct office meets with the accused student and recommends sanctions, which can be appealed to a disciplinary panel. That decision can be appealed as well.
Palk said a student can be found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy, even if criminal charges are never filed.
Shannon, a Dallas native, was Oklahoma's leading tackler last season and has appeared in 25 career games over the past two seasons, with 15 starts. He didn't practice with the team Thursday, nor did he participate in Saturday's spring game.
After the game, OU coach Bob Stoops said Shannon was dealing with "personal issues."
The district attorney said he was not personally involved in the decision not to file charges against Shannon and only became aware of the decision this week.