OU RB Rodney Anderson will not face rape charges

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 02: Running back Rodney Anderson
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 02: Running back Rodney Anderson /

Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson will not face charges in connection with a rape allegation by a former University of Oklahoma student.

The Oklahoma City Oklahoman reported on Thursday that Cleveland District Attorney Greg Mashburn said charges will not be filed against the Sooner running back.

Anderson has repeatedly denied the rape allegations, which surfaced earlier this month after the Big 12 Championship game, telling his attorney right after the story broke, and reported by the Oklahoman,  that his accuser made her claims after he “did not reciprocate her desire to pursue a relationship.”

Although it is still not clear if Oklahoma’s lead running back will play in the Sooners’ College Football Playoff game against Georgia in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, it at least appears more likely that he will than it did when the issue first became known in early December.

News of the rape allegation against Anderson first broke on Dec. 4 when his accuser filed for an emergency protective order. University of Oklahoma officials said at the time they were aware of the matter and were gathering all the facts.

Anderson was not on the field when the team returned to practice earlier this week in preparation for its New Year’s Day national semifinal game with Georgia, but head coach Lincoln Riley said it had nothing to do with the off-the-field issue, but rather that he is still healing up a bit from the bruises and bumps of the long season.

After not being able to play in back-to-back seasons because of season-ending injuries, Anderson has made up for lost time this season and has been a major contributor on the nation’s No. 1 offense. The redshirt junior from Katy, Texas, has rushed for a team-leading 960 yards and average 5.9 yards per carry. He has 11 rushing touchdowns and five receptions for touchdowns.

Although the Sooners would prefer to have Anderson available to go up against one of the country’s best defensive units in Georgia, freshman Trey Sermon and sophomore Abdul Adams, who started the season as OU’s No. 1 running back, are terrific options to have in reserve.

Sermon has 710 rushing yards and Adams has run for 542, and both are averaging over 6.0 yards every time they carry the ball.

“We’ve got three guys who can handle it,” Riley said, “that have had big games against really good competition. Done it in big-time venues.

“That’s huge. No matter how you lose a guy, you’ve got to have that depth, especially in games like this.”