The Joe Mixon video is out.
And it was Joe Mixon who released it.
According to The Oklahoman, Mixon’s attorney wrote a letter Friday that suggests further delay of the video’s release “appears only to be generating unfounded speculation about what is shown in that video.”
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Dec. 6 ruled 8-1 that the City of Norman must release the video to the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters.
“While Mr. Mixon is not a party to the OAB lawsuit and has not been directed by the Court to make any disclosure, he does not see any reason for the release of the recording at issue in that lawsuit to be delayed any longer,” Blake Johnson wrote in the letter, according to the Oklahoman.
“Further delay appears only to be generating unfounded speculation about what is shown in that video. We also see no reason to withhold the second recording we received from Ms. Molitor’s attorneys and so have included it as well.”
The 2014 surveillance video, which does not include audio, is a split-screen vantage that captures Amelia Molitor and a companion walking into Pickelman’s Gourmet Café just off the OU campus, followed shortly thereafter by Mixon. Mixon approaches Molitor and her companion inside the restaurant, says something to her companion, then briefly attempts to walk away before turning to confront Molitor. She pushes him with two hands in the chest, then he feigns lunging at her in a threatening manner. She responds by slapping Mixon in the neck/jaw area with her right hand, and Mixon unleashes a sudden and vicious right hook that send Molitor face-first into the table and floor as Mixon looks over his shoulder and exits the restaurant.
“Mr. Mixon asked us to once again say he is sorry for the way he reacted that night,” Mixon’s attorney wrote in the letter. “He has apologized publicly to Ms. Molitor, her friends, his family, teammates and the University. He hopes that his voluntary release of these recordings will help put this matter to rest.”
That seems unlikely.
The video was seen by Oklahoma media two years ago, but now that it’s a public record available online, national media shock and outrage already has been widely expressed.
“After watching this video I don’t know how Bob Stoops and school president David Boren keep their jobs,” tweeted Fox Sports commentator/writer Clay Travis.
“OU has some explaining to do, inexcusable no matter what was said or any attempt to push or hit,” tweeted Rivals.com’s Mike Farrell.
“Hold up. This due has been, and is still, on Oklahoma’s team? Seriously?” tweeted CBS college basketball columnist Gary Parrish. “Somebody should have to answer for that.”
Only a day earlier, The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Oklahoma City released photos of Mixon and offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley visiting sick kids.
“Very Humbling experience,” Mixon tweeted. “(W)hen things are tough always gotta remember someone else (has) it worse. Thanks for having us! We will be back!”
That visit and the publicity around it (OU football’s Twitter account retweeted it) now seems like a poorly timed attempt at contrition, some kind of preventive strike against the coming wave of negative press following the video release.
Mixon is projected as a high-round NFL draft talent and is expected to declare his intentions to leave college after the upcoming Sugar Bowl. The timing of the video’s release may help any NFL teams who are considering drafting him answer some questions now, rather than wait until the draft process next spring.
OU coach Bob Stoops, athletic director Joe Castiglione and president David Boren watched the video together before taking action. He was suspended from all team activities for the 2014 fall semester but was allowed to go to school and retain his scholarship, and rejoined the team at the beginning of the 2015 spring semester.
Mixon entered an Alford Plea for misdemeanor acts resulting in gross negligence and, received a one-year deferred sentence and was given 100 hours community service and counseling.
OU issued a statement after the video was released.
“University officials were made aware of the content of the video prior to taking action with respect to Joe Mixon,” the statement says. “Based on that information, the university immediately suspended and removed Mr. Mixon from the football team for one year (actually five months), during which high standards of conduct were expected and maintained.
“It was made clear to Mr. Mixon at the time of his suspension that violence against women will not go unpunished at the university. Coach (Bob) Stoops has been proactive in presenting training for his team aimed at preventing such behavior in the future.
“Sensitivity training in the area of violence has been intensified and best practices will continue to be implemented. Mr. Mixon has apologized for his actions and the university hopes that it is an indication that he has learned from his mistakes. We are an educational institution where we hope young people will learn from their mistakes and chart a better future course.”
Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “Further Review with Hoover & Rew” and can be heard on The Franchise Tulsa from noon to 3 p.m. every weekday with co-host Lauren Rew and most mornings on The Franchise in Oklahoma City. Listen on fm107.9, am1270 on the 107.7 Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page.