After the Sugar Bowl, University of Oklahoma President David Boren spoke to the media for the first time since the Joe Mixon “punch video” was released last month.
Boren doubled down on the University’s stance that it is not in the business of “destroying the entire lives and futures of young people”.
— Nathan Thompson (@NathanDThompson) January 3, 2017
Boren went more in depth with John E. Hoover of The Franchise, telling him: “I think it was the right decision and I hope it’s the kind of decision that will be made in the future by educational institutions. There’s no excuse for violence against women. And a severe punishment was handed down. But there’s also no reason to destroy the lives of young people when they make a—even a serious mistake—at age 18. What you want to try to do is set those people in the right course and help them live productive lives in the future. And I think that’s always the right thing to do. I don’t think that’s something that should be decided by instant opinion.”
Hoover also asked him about differentiating between his decision with the racist SAE fraternity video, which led to expulsion, compared to the Mixon decision, to which Boren added, “Yes, well this was immediate, too. The minute we saw the video, it was immediate. We didn’t even have any discussion about ‘Should there be punishment? Should there be severe punishment? Should he even continue to play on the team at that time?’ No. We dismissed him from the team, we didn’t even let him practice, we didn’t let him travel. That was a very harsh penalty. But what we did say is, ‘If you’ll get your life straightened out, if you’ll get on the right path, and if you’ll be constructive from now on out, you do your community service, you’ll get anger management training, you do all the other things that we’re calling on you to do, we’ll release you to go somewhere else, if you don’t want to measure up to these requirements that we’re putting on you.’ That’s what was done at the time and I think that’s exactly right, what should have been done at the time.”
It’s a tricky situation for Boren. Had he given the SAE kids a “second chance” then his stance on Mixon would have a little more support and understanding.
Regardless, I’m happy to see Boren “face the music”, talk to the media, and defend himself and his University. That’s the right thing to do, not go and hide, which many might do in his case.
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