Lawyers for the University of Oklahoma and junior linebacker Frank Shannon met Wednesday at the Oklahoma state Supreme Court building with a referee, who will make a recommendation to the justices regarding the case.
Shannon was accused of sexually assaulting a female OU student at his off-campus apartment in late January, and although District Attorney Greg Mashburn never pressed charges in criminal court, OU found Shannon guilty in its own independent Title IX investigation.
The university suspended Shannon from school and football activities for one year, but the linebacker appealed the ruling to a district judge, who issued a stay June 30, allowing him to continue as an OU student-athlete until she issues her ruling.
That stay remains in effect. OU asked the supreme court to intervene earlier this month after OU president David Boren issued a statement announcing the school’s decision to suspend Shannon. In the statement, Boren said the university was unable “to enforce our process.”
The district court case was filed under seal, which is why officials said Wednesday’s supreme court hearing was closed to reporters and the public.
After the hearing, Shannon’s attorney, Aletia Timmons, made a brief statement to reporters.
“We have agreed that we will keep this matter confidential,” Timmons said. “But if we see more press discussion of this matter in the papers … by the university, we are going to ask the court to unseal the record so that my client will be able to vindicate himself in the public media.”
Shannon, who was the leading tackler for the Sooners last season, worked with the first-team defense throughout Oklahoma’s preseason fall camp. Beginning Monday, though, coach Bob Stoops said he was no longer practicing with the first team.
Sophomore Jordan Evans, a former Norman North standout, played last year when Shannon was hurt and would become a starter if Shannon isn’t available when the season starts Aug. 30 at home against Louisiana Tech.