Over the summer, Oklahoma quietly pulled running back Kennedy Brooks from the roster, then quietly reinstated him. The school, it turned out, was conducting a Title IX investigation into accusations of domestic violence against Brooks, but found sufficient evidence to reinstate him to the school and the team.
The story, however, isn’t over.
On Friday night, Brooks’ accuser, Oklahoma student Mallory Jech, published a series of, frankly, disturbing tweets, accusing him of conducting a campaign of physical, mental and emotional abuse over the course of their relationship. Her account is now private, but OU Insider obtained the transcript of the tweets.
“I dated Kennedy Brooks from June of 2018 until the end of March 2019-during that time I was used, cheated on, manipulated and abused both mentally AND physically. If I were doing this because I am angry I was cheated on, I would have done it back in June of 2018…
“… the first time he cheated, or I would have done it when I found out he slept with a high schooler. But here I am, months after the fact, finally telling my story because the last thing that needs to happen is for little boys to look up to him and view him as a role model.
“I went to Title IX in May, right before the end of finals, and finally told my entire story to someone. I had called a few months before because pieces of the abuse had been reported-Kennedy was angry and I was terrified of what would happen when he came home (we lived together).
“On the phone with Title IX, I explained to them nothing happened and that I did not want him to get in trouble. I protected the person who put fear in my eyes every time we argued-for the sake of his career? Yes. But most importantly, I thought I was protecting myself from him.
“Months later, in May, I was finally ready. We had not been together for over a month at this point. Kennedy showed up to my apartment one evening after I had repeatedly told him not to come, I was not home-He told me he would let himself in my apartment. I sped home.
“I was on the phone with my mom when he came around the corner of my apartment building. He was obviously angry, yelling and screaming, and was demanding he get the little bit of his things-when I told him they were in my car and that I was about to take them to his apartment…
“… I watched him let himself into my apartment with a key that I was under the impression I already had. He had a duplicate. I called Title IX the next morning and asked if I could go in and talk to them. And from there, I was under the impression that someone would help me.
“I felt guilty for opening my mouth. I felt guilty for telling someone all of the times he put his hands on me. I felt guilty for telling someone who Kennedy Brooks really is. I felt guilty for finally telling my story. I felt guilty for doing the right thing. I was still attached
“Now, months after that first Title IX visit, they have decided to not punish Kennedy Brooks. Regardless of the messages I have where he told me to call Title IX, that he doesn’t care what happens.
“Regardless of my best friend who still lived with me during some of the abuse, who also talked to Title IX and told them what she witnessed. Regardless of the pictures of bruises and text messages between us where he says “I should not have to put my hands on you to move”.
“Title IX does nothing for the victim. They make you believe they are doing their best to help you-their “best” is changing his Fall schedule so I don’t have to sit in 3 classes with the person who has permanently affected the way I continue to live my life.
“Thats (sic) the best they could do. Kennedy Brooks is being protected by the University of Oklahoma (@uofoklahoma) because he plays football. I was physically abused by that “man”, I was left on the side of the rode (sic) in both Norman and Texas by that “man” but who cares about the victim.
“The University of Oklahoma does not value their students. OU only cares about their money. And God forbid something happen to one of their athletes who bring in millions of dollars every Saturday.
“I grew up with Crimson and Cream instilled in my blood. It was never a question where I would go to college, but the University and football program that I grew up loving, has done nothing but disappoint me and devalue my importance.
“I will not let the University of Oklahoma silence me. I will not let Kennedy Brooks silence me. I’m not doing this for attention or for anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m doing this for every girl who is too scared to speak up against their abuser. I will tell anyone my story.”
In response to the tweets, Oklahoma released this statement defending its Title IX investigation:
“OU has been made aware of social media posts in reference to a recent Title IX investigation. Title IX reports and investigations are confidential in order to protect the privacy of both the individual reporter and the respondent involved in the investigation. University policy is to conduct investigations involving student athletes independent of OU Athletics. At no time does the Office of Institutional Equity engage the Athletics Department in the evaluation of evidence during or following an investigation.
“All individuals who file a Title IX complaint are provided counseling with confidential advocates, accommodations that include academic scheduling, and referrals to other agencies for additional recourse including, but not limited to, local police departments. Filing a Title IX report does not limit the ability of either party from pursuing action through the courts or the criminal justice system.
“Our responsibility under Title IX in a university setting is to ensure a safe learning environment free of harassment and discrimination for our students, to provide requested accommodations, to determine violations of policy, and where the evidence shows threats to safety, to take steps to stop and prevent its recurrence.”
Lincoln Riley was also asked about the tweets on Saturday morning, and he defending the process, or at least the hands-off nature of the Title IX process from the athletics side.
“We’ve got to have respect for that process and how it goes on,” Riley told OU Insider. “I would say that it’s a topic that we’re extremely sensitive to. We have round-the-year education on that. It’s something that we take extremely serious. So serious in fact that when there is an inquiry or a process ongoing, we’re proactive enough to remove our guys from the team before the decision’s even been made. We take it as serious as we possibly can and we let the people whose job that is do their job.”
In the meantime, Brooks is still an active member of the Sooner football roster. As a redshirt freshman in 2018, he carried 119 times for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 8.87 yards per carry average was third nationally among all players with at least 100 rushes.