No stranger to off-field controversy, Joe Mixon has stepped into it yet again — albeit not even remotely as serious as the previous incident.
Bob Stoops confirmed Tuesday that the star running back has been suspended for Oklahoma’s game Thursday against Iowa State. While the head coach gave no reason for the suspension, Mixon’s attorney explained to The Oklahoman that the punitive measure stemmed from a parking ticket earlier in the day.
From the newspaper’s report:
At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Mixon was given a parking citation on the north oval, said his attorney, Blake Johnson.
“He was frustrated, as most of us are when we get a ticket,” Johnson said. “He tore the ticket up in front of the parking attendant, and threw it on the ground.”
Later that afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., Johnson said the parking attendant filed a complaint with OUPD.
“We are very confident that Joe did nothing criminal,” Johnson said.
“He’s been suspended for this Thursday’s game, and he understands and accepts that.”
In a statement, Stoops said that “OU sets very high standards and they must be met by all of our student-athletes.” “I regret that I did not respond appropriately to parking attendants and understand and accept the consequences,” Mixon said in his statement.
In mid-August of 2014, Mixon, a five-star recruit that year, was suspended by Oklahoma for the entire 2014 season, a punitive measure that meant the running back would be excluded from any and all team activities. The one-year suspension came about after Mixon was accused of punching a woman in a late-July confrontation, breaking four bones in her face and leaving her unconscious.
Media covering OU viewed a copy of the security tape that caught the exchange, including the knockout punch, between the woman and Mixon; Mixon’s attorney had previously claimed the altercation was preceded by racial slurs. The video has still yet to be released even as the fight over the issue continues.
In late October of 2014, a plea deal was reached in the case that helped Mixon avoid a trial. As part of that deal, Mixon was given a one-year deferred sentence, 100 hours of community service and will be required to attend cognitive behavior counseling. Mixon was sued by the victim in July of this year.
Mixon was welcomed back to the Sooners in February of last year and greatly aided OU’s run to a spot in the College Football Playoffs, finishing second on the team in rushing yards (753) and rushing touchdowns (seven). His 6.7 yards per carry led the team, and he added 28 receptions for 356 yards and four touchdowns for good measure.
This season Mixon has been even more productive, leading the team with 813 yards rushing and a 6.7 yards per carry average. Additionally, his 24 receptions and 357 yards receiving are both second on the team.
Mixon’s suspension will leave the Sooners with just one scholarship back for the ISU game who is healthy — freshman Abdul Adams, who is third on the team with 215 yards rushing. Last year’s leading rusher, Samaje Perine, will miss his third game in a row because of a hamstring issue. He’s currently second on the Sooners with 475 yards on the ground.