Oklahoma football: OU asks state Supreme Court to uphold Frank Shannon suspension

The University of Oklahoma suspended its leading tackler June 18 after a Title IX investigation into an alleged sexual assault. With a district court blocking OU’s attempts to enforce that suspension, the university on Monday took its case to the state Supreme Court.
by Jason Kersey Published: August 11, 2014


photo - Oklahoma's Frank Shannon (20) tries to get past Texas Tech's Eric Stephens Jr. (24) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Texas Tech University at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. Oklahoma won 41-20. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Frank Shannon (20) tries to get past Texas Tech's Eric Stephens Jr. (24) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Texas Tech University at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. Oklahoma won 41-20. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

The University of Oklahoma’s efforts to suspend starting linebacker and leading tackler Frank Shannon for one year reached the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday, according to a petition obtained by The Oklahoman.

The university is asking the court to prohibit a Cleveland County district judge from enforcing an order allowing Shannon to remain enrolled as a student and participate in OU football activities.

OU suspended Shannon on June 18 after a Title IX investigation into an alleged sexual assault. Shannon went to district court June 24 and received a stay, allowing him to remain enrolled as a student and to continue working out with the team.

“The University is unable to enforce its process at this time,” OU President David Boren said of Shannon’s suspension in a statement released Monday afternoon.

“The University has and is taking every legal step possible to move this process forward.”

Shannon was accused of sexually assaulting a female student at his off-campus apartment in January. Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn declined to prosecute the case in criminal court. Under federal law, the university is required to conduct its own independent Title IX investigation.

OU’s process for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct involves a Title IX inquiry, followed by a hearing panel composed of faculty and staff and a final appeal to the chief student affairs officer.

The university found Shannon guilty of violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy through all three of those steps, and issued the one-year suspension on June 18.

The petition filed to the state Supreme Court reveals that Shannon appealed the university’s suspension to Cleveland County District Judge Tracy Schumacher, who issued a temporary emergency order June 25 continuing the proceeding until June 30, and then issued a summary order continuing the stay, allowing Shannon to continue his enrollment and participation in football workouts.

Shannon was seen in the OU athletics department’s video July 1, when it unveiled the program’s new alternate uniforms.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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