Bob Stoops defends decision to keep Joe Mixon on team

Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon missed all of last season after being charged with a misdemeanor for punching a woman in the face, and head football coach Bob Stoops has been criticized for keeping him on the team despite that.

Speaking to ESPN’s Brandon Chatmon, Stoops defended his decision to keep the former four-star recruit on the team.

“First, let me say there’s no place for it. It should never happen,” Stoops said. “There’s not only domestic violence, but there’s violence toward women, there’s violence in general. None of it should be tolerated, and it has been disciplined.”

“We disciplined in a certain way depending on the circumstances we have, and these guys have had significant penalties,” Stoops said. “They’ve had a lot of other internal measures to meet and to stand up to, and if all those were met, then they had the opportunity to redeem themselves and hopefully grow from their experience.

“We also feel that, being an educational institution and the age of these young men, they deserve an opportunity to do that, and it’s our job to help them. But they also know that we have some very high standards for them to meet, and if they’re not met, then they won’t be with us any longer.”

Stoops believing in second chances is all well and good, but the long and short of it is that the sports world is taking a hard stance against violence against women, college football especially over the past several weeks. Florida State University recently dismissed quarterback De’Andre Johnson from the program when video surfaced of him punching a woman in the face at a local bar, resulting in him being charged with misdemeanor battery, and sophomore running back Dalvin Cook is currently on indefinite suspension for the same crime.

Thus, while it could be argued that Mixon already missed all of last season and thus should be allowed to play this year, it still doesn’t give OU much in the way of positive publicity. Hopefully, playing behind sophomore Samaje Perine, Mixon can get his head screwed on straight and become a valuable contributor on a Sooners squad that ranked 11th in the nation in rushing yards last season.

Oklahoma opens the 2015 season at home against the MAC’s Akron Zips on September 5.