Tuesday was not your ordinary Big 12 Media Day for head coach Bob Stoops. The one-time National Champion was unusually cheery, cracking jokes, and enjoying his time in Dallas with his wife Carol.
The 2014 off-season has been more than enjoyable for Sooner fans. It has been maybe the best bowl-game aftertaste the OU faithful has experienced since Stoops and the 2000 Oklahoma football squad beat the Florida State Seminoles for the school’s seventh national title.
It has truly been smooth-sailing so far this spring and summer for the boys in crimson and cream. Well, up until Joe Mixon’s 18th birthday.
The once prized, most sought after running back in the country has been the talk of not only Norman, but the country. He has received love and praise from the team’s veteran players and coaches. He even got a birthday shoutout from OU great Adrian Peterson.
However, around 2:30 am on July 25, 2014, Joe Mixon allegedly was involved in an altercation just outside of Oklahoma’s campus.
Amelia Rae Molitor, a 20-year-old University of Oklahoma student, claims the Freedom High School product threw a powerful jab at her that broke four bones in her face.
That is a serious allegation with hefty consequences for both parties. First, though, let’s get some facts straight.
Joe Mixon did, in fact, turn 18-years-old on July 24, 2014. He is officially an adult, dealing with a very adult problem.
It is, also, a fact that a police report identified Pickleman’s, a restaurant along Norman’s Campus Corner, was the scene of the alleged crime. However, the suspect of the incident was not identified and zero arrests have been made so far.
While there are plenty of conflicting reports out on the internet, one thing is certain: Joe Mixon was “involved” in an altercation that took place at the time specified by the police report.
“Involved” could mean a number of things. Mixon’s presence merely could have been a matter of a kid at the wrong place at the wrong time.
He was simply a young student-athlete trying to celebrate a milestone birthday, and you would never anticipate a football player with his talent would try to throw that away on one bad decision.
However, several “eye-witness” accounts seized their opportunity to contribute to the story by reaching out to the press. Miss Molitor, as well, did a phone interview with The Oklahoman.
According to her account on NewsOK, she had never seen Mixon until he allegedly punched her in the face. She told Jason Kersey that Mixon “harassed” her and the group she was with at the restaurant. Though, other outlets, including The Football Brainiacs, would say otherwise.
Their sources indicate the woman provoked Mixon, and that he shrugged it off and never retaliated in a violent manner as Molitor claims. Though, the Norman Police Department did confirm an aggravated assault was reported, though, they would not confirm Joe Mixon as the suspect.
According to our own sources, four police officers paid a visit to the new residence hall operated by the Oklahoma athletics department, where all freshmen student-athletes are required to live, Friday afternoon. They left the building without Mixon in custody, and there is no truth to the rumors circulating of a warrant out for Mixon’s arrest.
Another source close to the situation sent me a text message indicating that this ordeal would hopefully end in a good way for the frosh tailback. This sentiment was somewhat strengthened by a quote from Mixon’s defense attorney, Kevin Finlay.
“We are cooperating, fully, with the police,” Finlay said via NewsOK. “Joe is looking forward to the truth coming out.”
Whether the truth leaves Mixon innocent or guilty, this seems like a lose-lose situation for the California-native. Or at least one Mixon will have a tough time overcoming.
While he has been on campus for the entire summer, impressed in off-season workouts, and been praised by his teammates and head coach at Big 12 Media Days, this is a story Mixon won’t easily shrug off.
For starters, it was inconveniently timed for Joe Mixon to shut down his Twitter account, which he actively used prior to the incident. Though, Mixon was smart enough to hire an attorney to help him with the process.
It is reported Amelia Rae Molitor has returned home to Texas, and it is expected she will file charges. Possibly by Monday.
With so many conflicting reports, though, this is a bad mess Joe Mixon will have to gradually clean.
I mean, one outlet says Pickleman’s was bloodier than the Red Wedding. One outlet says it was a small dispute between two college students. Whatever the case, though. Mixon’s either going to have regain the trust of the fanbase. Or be forced out of town.
While the internet is no home to rational thinking, the meltdown by Sooner fans is remarkable. People trying to convince themselves OU will be fine out with the best running back recruit since Adrian Peterson. People trying to be reporters and claim he’s been dismissed. It’s a frenzy, but a not so surprising panic.
The fanbase is just one hurdle, though. Oklahoma has had its problems with high-profile signees. Take Trey Metoyer for example. Even Ryan Broyles. One guy overcame his problems. The other, well. Couldn’t keep it in his pants.
These Mixon allegations are much bigger, though. Which makes them even more difficult to handle.
Oklahoma will have its investigation, as well as the police. Though, regardless of the outcome, it will be a rocky climb for Joe Mixon, who went from prized running back recruit to guy who allegedly punches woman in the face.
If proven guilty, Mixon could be looking at the end of his college football career at OU before it even started.
Though, maybe he only gets a lengthy suspension, which might not look well within the eyes of the public.
Oklahoma is all about second chances, but punching women? That’s a tough sell. Even for Bob Stoops.
If ruled innocent, however, he will have a lot of damage control to undergo and prove his character on and off the football field.
People will still talk. He will be under a close watch. And you know the media won’t let him live it down any time soon.
You would hope something like this would not sway Mixon to transfer. However, if ESPN produces a 30 for 30 film 30 years from now about Joe Mixon: The Greatest Running Back Ever, he’ll certainly have some trials and tribulations to go along with his success story.
I think the main thing right now is for every to take a deep breath. The truth will come out.
Don’t be too quick to pass judgment on another human being, because this story is just unfolding. And it is so much bigger than a game played by college students for your entertainment.