Oklahoma football: Punishment is coming for Joe Mixon, and it needs to be significant

COMMENTARY — OU has a history of punishing players who run afoul of the law. And Mixon’s case is no different.
by Jenni Carlson Published: August 15, 2014

The Norman Police and the Cleveland County DA have had their say in the Joe Mixon case.

Now, it’s OU’s turn.

On Friday, the police wrapped up their three-week investigation, alleging that the Oklahoma freshman phenom punched a female student in the face during an altercation at a late-night hangout. The possible charges suggested in the affidavit: aggravated assault and battery, a felony, and/or acts resulting in gross injury, a misdemeanor.

The district attorney swiftly opted to go with the latter, citing the facts of the case, including that Amelia Molitor allegedly pushed, then slapped Mixon.

But no matter what she did or what a court of law ultimately does, Mixon must be suspended. The punishment handed down by Joe Castiglione and Bob Stoops has to be something significant.

The reason?

Violence against women — any violence against any woman — cannot be tolerated.

And here’s the truth, Sooner fans: you can rest assured that it’s only a matter of time before Castiglione and Stoops hand down punishment of Mixon.

The reason?

OU punishes players who run afoul of the law.

Even though OU under Stoops has become known as a place that gives players second chances, it isn’t some pirate ship. Many a player has been allowed to stay on the team after making mistakes, then took full advantage of their chance at redemption. Dusty Dvoracek. Lynn McGruder. Ryan Broyles. Jaz Reynolds. Trey Franks.

Still, all of them were punished, having to miss anything from a few games to an entire season.

Read the affidavit in the Mixon case, and it’s obvious that he will be punished, too. He lunged at Molitor after she pushed him, leading with his head. Then when she slapped him, he punched her on the left side of the face with a closed right fist “knocking her into a table top and then to the ground where she laid motionless.”

Close your eyes and try to picture that.

Here are few details to help you — Molitor is 5-foot-6, 130 pounds, while Mixon is 6-foot-2, 210 pounds.

Yes, she pushed him. Yes, she slapped him. But he is broad and chiseled, eight inches taller and 80 pounds heavier. The aftermath of his punch broke four bones and knocked her off her feet.

Then, he walked out.

Those details are nauseating, even though Mixon was only charged with a misdemeanor. If we saw video of this altercation — open-record laws should allow it eventually — it would be every bit as stomach-churning as those blurry frames of Baltimore running back Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator.

Listen, I know that Mixon’s attorney, Kevin Finlay, wants you believe that Mixon did nothing wrong. He said Friday that Mixon was reacting instinctively to being racially slurred and physically assaulted. Well, according to the police affidavit, Molitor said she was reacting to Mixon using a homosexual slur against a friend of hers. That says nothing of him lunging at her or punching her in the face.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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