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John E. Hoover: Ahead of NFL Draft, Sooners’ Joe Mixon reportedly settles civil suit with Mia Molitor

John E. Hoover: Ahead of NFL Draft, Sooners’ Joe Mixon reportedly settles civil suit with Mia Molitor

Joe Mixon, here at OU’s Pro Day, reportedly settled his civil suit with Amelia Molitor on Friday. (PHOTO: Ty Russell, OU Media Relations)

It’s over.

The Joe Mixon-Amelia Molitor saga that began in 2014 when Mixon smashed Molitor’s face with a vicious punch in a Norman eatery, reached an amenable conclusion on Friday, according to ProFootballTalk.com, when Molitor and Mixon agreed to a settlement of her civil suit against him.

“I am happy we were able to bring the lawsuit to an end,” Molitor was quoted in the article. “Joe and I were able to meet privately, without any attorneys, and talk about our experiences since that night. I am encouraged that we will both be able to move forward from here with our lives. From our private discussions, I am satisfied that we are going to put this behind us and work towards helping others who may have found themselves in similar circumstances. I greatly appreciate his apology and I think the feelings he expressed were sincere. We both could have handled things differently. I believe if we had a chance to go back to that moment in time, the situation would not have ended the way it did.”

“I’m thankful Mia and I were able to talk privately,” Mixon said. “I was able to apologize to her one-to-one. The way I reacted that night, that’s not me. That’s not the way I was raised. I think she understands that. Talking together helps move us past what happened. I know I have to keep working to be a better person, and this is another step in that direction. I love working with kids, and I’m looking for more chances to do that kind of work. I want to lead a life that inspires them, and I hope I can lead by example from today forward.”

The timing was right for the former Oklahoma Sooner running back. The 2017 NFL Draft begins Thursday, and debate has raged all spring about teams’ willingness to draft a player whose abominable violence was caught on surveillance video.

Some teams have said they do not have Mixon on their draft board, others have privately confided that they would consider taking him as early as the first round.

As a sophomore at OU last season, Mixon rushed for 1,274 yards and scored 16 touchdowns, and set the school record for all-purpose yards in a single season. He’s easily a first-round talent, but the incident has haunted him.

Now, with the criminal case concluded long ago and the civil case settled today, are more teams interested in taking a chance on Mixon?

Regardless, it’s an ugly incident that all parties — including the University of Oklahoma, which suspended Mixon from the football program for five months but kept him on scholarship before allowing him to return and take on a starring role — can finally put behind them.

“Going forward, Joe and I agreed we needed to move on from this situation and focus on the future,” Molitor told PFT. “I’m now planning to attend graduate school. I still plan to speak out and support other people, whether on college campuses or elsewhere, who are faced with overcoming difficult circumstances that have attracted intense public scrutiny. I’m finished talking about what happened that night with Joe. It’s time to move on from that. I wish Joe the best of luck in his future.”

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed, but Pro Football Talk writer Mike Florio suggests that the settlement “consisted of a flat, finite sum, with no percentage of Mixon’s future earnings tied to the payment.”

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Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “Further Review with Hoover & Rew” and can be heard every weekday on The Franchise in Tulsa from noon to 3 p.m. with co-host Lauren Rew. In Oklahoma City, catch him Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10:25 and every Friday afternoon at 4:05. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page.

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Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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