Stoops: RB Mixon deserves chance after arrest, suspension
DALLAS (AP) Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday that reinstated running back Joe Mixon deserves a chance to redeem himself after being charged with punching a woman in the face.
Asked at Big 12 media days why he hasn't distanced himself from Mixon, Stoops quickly said violence toward women should never be tolerated. But he said the redshirt freshman, after serving a season-long suspension last year, has other standards to meet as well.
If those standards are met, it's the job of educational institutions to help Mixon and other players in similar situations, Stoops said.
''In the end we felt that he's been disciplined,'' Stoops said later in a follow-up question about Mixon. ''He was removed totally from all team activities from that point on. And he's earned a way to be back to have an opportunity for a second chance to redeem himself with strict guidelines that go with it.''
Mixon was given a year of probation last October when he entered a plea in which he acknowledged there was likely enough evidence to convict him of misdemeanor assault while still asserting his innocence over the incident last summer at a restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma.
Florida State freshman quarterback De'Andre Johnson was recently kicked off the team after video showed him punching a woman in the face in a bar. Another Seminoles player has been suspended indefinitely after a similar allegation.
Stoops said he was aware of other incidents around the country, but said he believed each situation was different.
''I don't know all of their circumstances,'' Stoops said. ''In our situation, we felt this was the right way to proceed.''
With Mixon suspended last year, Oklahoma's Samaje Perine led the Big 12 with 1,713 yards rushing as a freshman and tops the depth chart going into the season. Perine set a Football Bowl Subdivision record with 427 yards rushing against Kansas.
''It's hard to improve on where he was, but I believe he will,'' Stoops said of Perine. ''He's such a great, great worker. Very humble guy that's always hungry.''