OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has accepted one year of probation after being charged with punching a young woman at a restaurant in July.
Mixon's attorney, Kevin Finlay, said Thursday that Mixon entered an Alford plea in which he acknowledged there was likely enough evidence to convict him of misdemeanor assault while still asserting his innocence.
Mixon was to go to trial on Jan. 12, but Finlay said Mixon ''does not want to be a further distraction to his family, friends, teammates, and the University of Oklahoma.'' According to court documents, Mixon has agreed to 100 hours of community service, cognitive behavior counseling and payment of court costs.
Mixon, a freshman, was one of the nation's top recruits and was expected to contend for a starting job. He is serving a one-year suspension and has not been allowed to participate in team activities since the incident in Norman, Oklahoma.
According to a probable cause affidavit released by the Cleveland County District Attorney's office, the alleged victim told police Mixon directed a homosexual slur at her friend and there was an argument.
The affidavit said that according to surveillance video, the woman then pushed Mixon and Mixon lunged at her. The woman then slapped Mixon in the face, and he reacted by punching her in the face. She fell onto a table, then to the ground, and Mixon then left the scene. The woman suffered a fractured jaw, broken cheek bone, fractured sinus and `fractured orbit' near her left eye.
''The judicial outcome and the video speak for themselves,'' Oklahoma President David L. Boren said. ''The University is an educational institution, which always sets high standards that we hope will be upheld by our students. We hope that our students will all learn from those standards, but at the same time, we believe in second chances so that our students can learn and grow from life's experiences.''
Boren said Mixon will be given a chance to ''earn his way back on the team'' next spring.
''Joe would like to apologize to everyone affected by this unfortunate chain of events,'' Finlay said in the statement. ''Joe looks forward to continuing towards his goal of becoming a successful student and athlete at the University of Oklahoma.''
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .