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Berry Tramel

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Joe Mixon video: Sad & bad

by Berry Tramel Published: September 4, 2014

The common response from the media throng that watched the Joe Mixon video was, “that’s bad.” I had a little different take. “That’s sad.”

Sad that lives were compromised and reputations ruined all in the name of nonsense. The early morning hours of July 25 never had to come to Mixon punching Amelia Molitor.

We watched the video Thursday morning at the city of Norman’s Police Investigations Center, and the video showed exactly what the police and the district attorney said it showed. She pushes, he lunges, she slaps, he slugs. I came away at least pleased that we could trust the authorities for giving us the straight scoop.

Here are my initial thoughts:

* When my colleagues said, “that was bad,” my response was, of course it was bad. We knew it was going to be bad. Did someone think a video of a football player breaking a coed’s face with a single punch was somehow going to be less than bad?

* With that said, when the video goes public, whether it’s November or during a trial or by some black-market means, Mixon will look bad all over again. No charge by authorities could be worse than letting the world see the video.

* I find no quarrel with district attorney Greg Mashburn for the misdemeanor charge or with OU authorities for their season-long suspension of Mixon. Both decisions seemed to be Solomonic.

Mashburn legally could have let off Mixon on a self-defense plea. Or he could have charged Mixon with a felony. Mashburn probably stands on the shakiest legal ground with the misdemeanor — it’s got to be one or the other, right? — but sometimes judgment and wisdom come into play, too. I can’t fault Mashburn’s charge. He was looking for middle ground.

As for the season-long ban, David Boren, Joe Castiglione and Bob Stoops could have jettisoned Mixon. Or they could have given him a partial-season suspension. Six games or so. The season-long suspension fits what we saw on the video. Hitting a woman, especially with the ferocity of Mixon’s quick punch, was indeed a violation of public morals. Give Mixon an entire season to realize what he did, consider why he did it and prove that he’s serious about making a change.

* The entire confrontation, as seen on video, is no more than 15 seconds long. Maybe something happened out on the street, but in Pickleman’s Café, in which Molitor entered well ahead of Mixon, the whole thing happened in an instant.

* No audio is available, so who knows what was said? We saw no reaction from Mixon on anything anyone might have said. We did see a reaction from Molitor’s companion on what appeared to be something said by Mixon. The reaction was to move away from Mixon. Which is when Molitor confronted Mixon.

* Mixon left quickly. If he had stayed and showed some concern, he might have looked better. Had he stayed and gloated, he would have looked worse.

* The whole thing was bad. But it also was sad. Sad that alcohol and hubris and ignorance and temper all combined to tarnish two lives.

 

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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