John Hoover

John E. Hoover: Sooners’ Kennedy Brooks reportedly cleared of Title IX inquiry, returns to team

John E. Hoover: Sooners’ Kennedy Brooks reportedly cleared of Title IX inquiry, returns to team

Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks (26) runs against Kansas during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Oklahoma won 55-40. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

The brief mystery of Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks’ status reportedly has been resolved.

On Monday, 247 Sports reported that Brooks hadn’t been with the team at all during summer workouts but didn’t cite a reason for Brooks’ absence.

Tuesday afternoon, an OU press release featured a glowing paragraph on Brooks as a member of the 2019 preseason All-Big 12 football team.

Then Tuesday evening, The Athletic reported that Brooks’ offseason suspension was the result of a Title IX investigation that looked into an allegation of physical violence against Brooks and concluded that Brooks is clear of any Title IX violation.

Jason Kersey of The Athletic, citing unnamed sources, reported that Brooks is expected to return to the team on Wednesday.

Kersey reported that a female OU student alleged in a Title IX complain earlier this summer that Brooks was physically violent with her. The alleged victim, however, did not file a police report.

Brooks led the Sooners with 1,056 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns last season on just 119 carries, an 8.87-yard-per-carry average that ranked third in the nation. He was voted preseason All-Big 12 on Tuesday.

It’s the second time in three seasons that the Sooners’ starting running back has been accused of wrongdoing and later cleared.

Toward the end of the 2017 season, Rodney Anderson maintained his innocence in a sexual assault allegation he said was “patently false” and was quickly cleared when Cleveland County district attorney Greg Mashburn said, “Charges are not warranted under these circumstances.”

Brooks is one of six Sooners selected by a media vote to the preseason All-Big 12 team, joining wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (also selected as a punt returner), tight end Grant Calcaterra center Creed Humphrey, and linebacker Kenneth Murray. Murray was chosen as Big 12 defensive player of the year, while quarterback Jalen Hurts was picked as Big 12 newcomer of the year.


Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “The Franchise Drive” every weeknight from 6-8 on The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and appears throughout the day on other shows on The Franchise. 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. Hoover also covers the Big 12 for Sporting News and Lindy’s magazine and is a feature writer for Sooner Spectator magazine. Visit his personal page at


John Hoover

John Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he was co-host of "Further Review" and "The Franchise Drive." Now he's The Franchise college football insider: Oklahoma's state Heisman rep, a voter in the FWAA Super 16 poll, an FWAA media access liaison, and a Big 12 writer at Sporting News and Lindy's preseason magazine. 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. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist and 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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