With the recent events involving former Florida State quarterback De’Andre Johnson, and his complete dismissal from the Seminoles program, many are questioning the Sooners for holding onto 5-star running back Joe Mixon, and the star linebacker Frank Shannon. Last July, Joe Mixon was involved in a physical altercation with a female at a local Norman cafe. The Sooners suspended him indefinitely, and is now reinstated and is expected to have plenty of opportunities at running back behind Samaje Perine. Linebacker Frank Shannon was accused of sexual assault; however no formal charges were filed. The story has many question marks, however despite that Shannon was still handed a 1 year suspension by the University. But many question whether either should be playing for the Sooners at all.
I personally do not condone violence, especially against women, and I was very shocked and upset finding out what Joe Mixon had done. Self-defense is a completely different idea than retaliation. Like Florida State’s Johnson, Mixon too overstepped the bounds of self-defense and retaliated full force causing injury to the victim. Mixon should have been punished severely, and he absolutely was. Bob Stoops and the University did the right thing, and suspended him for an entire season. Stoops believes in second chances, and I do too. In this day and age, we have gotten far too caught up with the idea that every mistake someone with any amount of fame makes should completely alter their image, makes them scum, and undeserving of anything. Is this because we are jealous? Or because we do not make mistakes? Obviously it’s not the latter, since we all screw up at some point. Joe Mixon, just like Mr. Johnson are both young guys with a lot of years left ahead of them, not just in football, but in life.
It’s not fair for one incident to affect them for their whole life. I’m not talking about repeat offenders who consistently fight the system, and put their image, and the image of the program on the line. According to all reports, Mixon has been dedicated to improving his life, and making up for his mistake. I am all about rooting for people who can man up, admit their mistakes and do their best to fix them. Mixon accepted his punishment, has served his time, and tried his best to make up for his mistake, just like Bob Stoops, and the University expected. This is not the first instance of Stoops helping a kid out and not giving up on him after making a mistake. Ryan Broyles, Dusty Dvoracek, Damien Williams and others have all had off the field issues, and each one, except Damien, seem to have figured it out and moved forward with a life lesson. But, in instances that the rules continued to be broken like in Williams case, Stoops does come down hard (dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules).
The message here is this: unless you are a perfect person and have never made a bad decision in your life, it is time to move on and wish Joe Mixon the best of luck in his life endeavors and the 2015 season. If he makes a catastrophic mistake once again, then it will be the time for Bob Stoops and the University to consider more serious ramifications. It is time to move on. So let us do just that, good luck to Joe, Frank and the rest of the Sooners in 2015.
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