NORMAN — Frank Shannon remains enrolled at OU and a member of the football team with only a few weeks until fall camp opens. An athletic department spokesman said he doesn’t expect that to change, although the university’s open-records office and Shannon’s attorney refused Wednesday to provide any new information regarding the ongoing investigation into an alleged sexual assault six months ago at an off-campus apartment.
OU athletic department spokesman Pete Moris said he’s been told to proceed as if Shannon will play this fall, and that the junior linebacker from Dallas will appear in the team’s official media guide. Moris said he anticipates Shannon will be on the roster when fall camp starts July 31.
Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn declined to prosecute the case months ago. The university conducted its own Title IX sexual misconduct investigation as required by federal law.
OU’s stated process for such inquiries stipulates that “the investigation and findings generally should be completed within 60 calendar days of receipt of the complaint, preferably sooner as practical.”
On Wednesday, the University of Oklahoma denied The Oklahoman’s open records request seeking the final results of Shannon’s Title IX disciplinary hearing, and OU open records officer Michael Purcell wrote in explaining the decision that “there has not been a final determination of a disciplinary action.”
“The University followed a very stringent process with both sides, and under the Administrative Procedure Act both sides have an ability to appeal any decision reached by the University to a district court,” Purcell said. “The University takes very seriously its obligation in cases like this. Under federal law, since this matter is still pending, the University cannot release further information.”
Shannon, a 21-year-old junior, has started 15 games over the past two seasons and was the Sooners’ leading tackler last year.
He didn’t participate in Oklahoma’s spring game in April and missed some practices. After the spring game, OU coach Bob Stoops said Shannon was dealing with “personal issues.”
Even when a final decision on Shannon is made, OU won’t be required to release those records, although they might still be able to release them under federal law.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was amended by Congress in 1998 to exclude certain disciplinary outcomes. Federal law allows schools to publicly disclose the final results of disciplinary proceedings involving violent crime, but only if the student is found to be culpable.
OU is also allowed — not required — to release those results to the alleged victim, regardless of the outcome.
Aletia Timmons, Shannon’s attorney, declined to comment when asked Wednesday about the outcome of his disciplinary hearing.
“Suffice it to say he’s still at school and he’s still participating in sports activities,” Timmons said.
Asked if he would play football this fall, Timmons responded: “I have no comment on that either. Those matters are confidential, and I’ve not been given the authority to disclose those to you and I won’t.”