Supreme Court sides with OU, upholds OU football player’s suspension

UPDATE: The Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruled Monday that the University of Oklahoma will be able to enforce its one-year suspension of Frank Shannon.

Shannon was suspended one year by the university after he was found to have violated the school’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy.

Earlier this year, a Cleveland County district judge ordered a stay, which allowed Shannon to remain a student at OU and part of the football team.

However, he was not listed on the team’s roster.

The suspension stems from allegations made by a female student, who claimed Shannon assaulted her at his off-campus apartment earlier this year.

However, the Cleveland County District Attorney’s office refused to press charges.

Shannon’s attorney says there was no evidence of a sexual assault, the woman decided to drop the charges and Shannon passed a polygraph test.

On Monday, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court also decided to seal all the documents related to Shannon’s case.

 

NORMAN, Okla. – While many football fans are getting ready to battle opposing teams on the gridiron, the University of Oklahoma is in a battle with the courts over a embattled player.

Earlier this year, University of Oklahoma President David Boren announced that OU was suspending starting linebacker Frank Shannon for one year.

Shannon was accused of sexually assaulting a female student at his off-campus apartment.

However, the Cleveland County district attorney decided not to prosecute the case in criminal court.

Officials said the suspension handed down after the university’s Title IX investigation into the sexual assault allegations was complete.

Shannon appealed the decision and was granted a stay.

A Cleveland County district judge ordered that Shannon should remain as a student and be able to participate in activities with the football team.

Shannon has been practicing with the team, but was not listed on the Sooners’ depth chart before the Louisiana Tech game.

On Friday, Shannon’s attorneys called a news conference in regards to his treatment by the university.

“The University of Oklahoma has failed him,” said Shannon’s lawyer, Aletia Timmons

She says Shannon will stand on the sidelines in protest, saying he will not back down until his name is cleared.

Timmons says he has been painted in a picture that is not who he truly is, saying he was an honor roll student and graduated in the top 2 percent of his class.

Also, he has never had disciplinary action at the school and was offered both academic and football scholarships.

She says the allegations of sexual assault stem from a student who he refused to have sex with at his home.

“This particular incident, I believe, arose because Franklin Shannon refused to have intercourse with a female student. It upset her, and the rest is history,” Timmons said.

Timmons says the district attorney refused to file charges because of a lack of evidence and because the victim declined to prosecute.

She says following the allegations, she made Shannon take a polygraph test that was administered by a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

She says he passed that polygraph.

“My client’s position is one of strength for a 21-year-old. What he said was, ‘I will not quit. I will continue to fight to vindicate my name,” she said.

According to Timmons, Shannon has one more year of red-shirt eligibility.

Timmons says she asked Shannon why he wouldn’t transfer, Shannon said, “I’m not going to be branded a rapist. I’m going to stand and fight.”

She says he is risking his possible career in the NFL, but he says his reputation is more important to him.

“I think the coaches are in a difficult position. Franklin’s not not playing because he’s not a good football player. Franklin’s not not playing because he’s somehow ineligible. He’s not playing because of the situation that’s going on right now and I think it is unfairly punishing him. And I don’t know what, my client’s standing up. It appears at this point in time that he’s the only one that’s standing up for himself. And I would include the football team in that, the football coaches. I hate to say that, he feels a little bit differently, but I don’t. They teach our kids to fight hard on the field, never give up. And then when they’ve been supportive for the most part, but when it gets hot, they’re gone. So I have a problem with that. You can’t teach what you don’t model,” said Timmons.

Timmons says this is not the end of the fight.

She says the university and head coach Bob Stoops has the ability to put Frank Shannon on the field now and this is a “voluntary decision” to leave him off of the depth chart.

“It rests with them to either do the right thing, or Franklin will be standing on the sidelines in silent protest about his treatment,” Timmons said.