Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has been suspended for Thursday night’s Big 12 Conference game at Iowa State.
According to a three-paragraph press release emailed out on Tuesday night, Mixon was suspended for “violating team rules.”
A quote attributed to Mixon suggested a run-in with campus parking authorities.
“I regret that I did not respond appropriately to parking attendants,” Mixon said, “and understand and accept the consequences.”
According to The Oklahoman, Mixon received a parking citation on OU’s North Oval at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
“He was frustrated, as most of us are when we get a ticket,” Mixon’s attorney, Blake Johnson told the newspaper. “He tore the ticket up in front of the parking attendant, and threw it on the ground.”
Johnson said that at around 1:30 p.m., the parking attendant filed a complaint with campus police.
“We are very confident,” Johnson added, “that Joe did nothing criminal.”
Coach Bob Stoops also issued a statement in the release.
“OU sets very high standards,” Stoops said, “and they must be met by all of our student-athletes.”
Mixon’s absence would leave No. 11-ranked Oklahoma with freshman Abdul Adams as the only scholarship running back against the Cyclones. Stoops said on Monday that starter Samaje Perine wasn’t ready to return from what has been referred to as a muscle pull.
“He’s progressing really well,” Stoops said. “He won’t be back this week.”
Adams is third on the team with 41 carries for 215 yards. Walk-on Devin Montgomery got five carries for 16 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 56-3 victory over Kansas. Walk-on Najee Bissoon carried once for four yards against the Jayhawks.
Two other scholarship running backs are out for the season. Senior Daniel Brooks retired because of lingering concussion issues, and sophomore Rodney Anderson was lost in the preseason after sustaining a neck injury.
It’s also likely that fullback Dimitri Flowers could get plenty of action at the running back position. Flowers is an all-conference fullback and H-back/tight end, but his career high for rushing yards in a game is 14.
Mixon was suspended for the entire 2014 season and removed from all team activities after punching former OU student Amelia Molitor at an off-campus establishment earlier that summer and breaking four bones in her face.
Later that year, Mixon entered an Alford plea, maintaining his innocence while acknowledging enough evidence exists for a jury to find him guilty. Mixon agreed to a one-year deferred sentence, 100 hours of community service and counseling.
Mixon currently leads OU and is sixth nationally with 813 rushing yards (6.8 yards per carry) and has five rushing touchdowns, and he’s second on the team with 24 pass receptions for 324 yards and four TDs.
Mixon’s all-purpose yardage (rushing, receiving and returns) ranks third nationally at 194.75 yards per game, and he’s tied for 32nd with 10 touchdowns.
He gained 377 all-purpose yards in OU’s 66-59 victory at Texas Tech, the highest total for a player in the Football Bowl Subdivision so far this season. His total included 263 rushing yards, which ranks second in the 18-year Stoops era, and Mixon’s 6.75 yards per carry average ranks No. 1 in the Stoops era.
OU president David Boren has praised Mixon for “exemplary” behavior off the field, and athletic director Joe Castiglione said last year Mixon has “been a very positive member of our football program.”
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.