Judge in Norman Rules Joe Mixon Video Will Remain SealedBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
A judge in Norman, Okla. upheld a previous decision to keep surveillance footage of Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon punching a woman in a restaurant sealed.
Though Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman previously viewed the footage in court, he decided Thursday against classifying it as being part of the court records, NewsOK.com reported.
The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters filed a lawsuit to have the footage released, but were dismissed. The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals sent the case back to Balkman last week, ruling the video being shown in court makes it part of the court's record. However, Balkman's ruling Thursday said some of the wording in his initial decision was "incorrect."
"Several options," David McCullough, an attorney representing the OAB, told The Tulsa World. "The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters... has made a request to the court clerk for the video, which we believe is part of the court record, and we believe the court of appeals says it's part of the court record and has determined that. We are still looking for a response from the court clerk's office on how they plan to respond to our request. At that point we would make a decision on how to proceed."
Though the footage has not been released, it has been described in great detail and resulted in Mixon being suspended for an entire season. In Oct. 2014, Mixon punched a female OU student in the face so and broke multiple bones. Still a highly rated prospect at the time, OU kept the running back on the bench for his entire freshman season after his coach reportedly watched the video with OU's president and athletic director.
Mixon was not arrested, and eventually entered an Alford plea in which he acknowledged the likelihood of being found guilty while not actually admitting fault. His received a deferred sentence of 100 hours of community service and cognitive behavior counseling.
OU President David Boren addressed the issue in a statement to OUDaily.com.
"At the University of Oklahoma we feel strongly about setting the proper standards of conduct," he said. "Joe Mixon has received punishment for what he has done. At the same time, we are an educational institution, where we hope that young people will learn from their mistakes and chart a better future course. Joe has met all of the conditions of his punishment, which include not playing on the football team for one year and maintaining good grades and a clean record of behavior."