Last Friday, the video of Oklahoma football star Joe Mixon punching fellow OU student Amelia Molitor was released to the public.
Since the very minute of its release, a firestorm broke out through social media, television, radio and print media outlets blasting Sooner head football coach Bob Stoops, University of Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione and OU president David Boren for making the decision to keep Mixon in school and not officially kicking him off of the football team but instead suspending him for an entire season from team activities.
Also since the release of the infamous video, was the release of the video in which Norman Police interrogated Mixon about the incident.
Stoops addressed the media for the first time following the video release on Wednesday afternoon. The head football coach acknowledged that if the incident had happened today, he would have kicked Mixon off of the team.
There is no doubt there are many lessons to be learned through this ugly situation for Joe Mixon, Amelia Molitor, OU football, Oklahoma administrators and the university as a whole. The one constant variable throughout this mess is that this is a tragic event for everyone involved.
I first want to say, under absolutely no circumstance is it OK for a man to punch a woman. Yes, Molitor made contact with Mixon first, but that does not give him the right to do what he did. What he did was disgusting and inexcusable and he should have been punished a very strong way, which he was.
I do understand why Stoops decided to keep Mixon rather than cut him loose. For some people, they will forever believe it was because Mixon was a five-star running back and he was undoubtedly going to be a star in the Sooner backfield for the next several years. I am not saying I disagree with that thought process but I also do believe Stoops when he says he believed Mixon was a good kid and that he deserved a second chance.
I do believe everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance.
One thing we don’t understand is how much time and effort these coaches spend recruiting these players. They spend countless hours talking with them and their families, so it is fair to say Stoops knew Mixon and the type of young man he was at that point in time.
However, as we all know, just because someone is a good kid, doesn’t mean they are immune from making mistakes and that is what Mixon did that night. He made a horrible mistake.
The people I have a problem with are Mixon’s legal team, who kept the running back from speaking publicly about the incident for the past two-and-a-half years while the civil suit was going on in the courts.
I believe Stoops when he said Mixon, for a long time now, has wanted to get up and speak publicly and issue a sincere apology for everything that happened that night but his attorneys would not allow him to do so. I do actually believe Mixon is a good young man.
If Mixon’s attorneys had allowed the star running back to speak publicly and they had released the video shortly after the incident had occurred, it would have started the healing process a long time ago and there is one thing human beings have the amazing ability to do, is forgive someone, no matter how bad the crime.
Instead, the video was kept hidden for more than two years and now not only Mixon, but Molitor have to go through the public humiliation of what happened that night instead of being able to move on and learn and grow from it.
My question to Mixon’s attorneys would be, why would it have been so bad for the civil suit for Mixon to get up in front of the microphone and television cameras and say he is sorry for what happened, he regrets what happened and he learned from it and is a better man now? It’s hard for me to believe that would be a bad move in the legal process, but hey what do I know? I’m just a journalist.