Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon issues apology for punching woman in 2014

Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon rushed for 147 yards in Saturday's win over West Virginia. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon rushed for 147 yards in Saturday’s win over West Virginia. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon issued an apology Tuesday night for the incident that led to his suspension for the entire 2014 season.

Surveillance cameras captured Mixon, then a true freshman, punching a woman in the face at a restaurant in July 2014. The woman, Amelia Molitor, suffered facial fractures in the incident and Mixon was charged with misdemeanor assault. Mixon eventually reached a plea deal and was suspended by Oklahoma for the 2014 season.

Molitor filed a lawsuit against Mixon in July, but two of the three claims in the lawsuit were dismissed Monday. A day later, the running back issued a lengthy statement to The Oklahoman.

“For the last two years, my lawyers have advised me against speaking publicly about an incident that occurred very shortly after I arrived in Norman, Oklahoma. Today, I want to say what everyone deserves to hear from me about this matter: I am sorry,” Mixon’s statement reads.

“On the night of July 24, 2014, I had just turned 18 years old. I was away from home for the first time and far from comfortable in my new surroundings, which were different from my hometown. That night, I was out with members of the football team, trying to get to know my new teammates and friends. I was not drinking; I have never had a drink in my life. At the end of the night, a group of apparently drunk people started harassing us. Some of my teammates were wise enough to leave. I did not, and I am sorry.

“The situation got tense. Racial slurs were hurled at me. I should have left, but I did not. A woman shoved me. I was upset and I should have left, but I did not. Then, she slapped me, and I reacted poorly — I struck her. It was a bad reaction, one that does not reflect my character or my values. I am sorry.

“I apologize to Amelia Molitor and the friends who were with her that night. I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the University of Oklahoma, and its fans. I apologize to my family and friends. I realize I let a lot of people down. I apologize to all those I disappointed or hurt.”

As part of his plea agreement, Mixon completed one year of probation, 100 hours of community service and participated in cognitive behavior counseling in addition to his season-long suspension. The university decided to suspend Mixon after OU president David Boren, athletic director Joe Castiglione and head coach Bob Stoops watched video of the incident.

Norman Police also arranged a viewing of the video for local media members, but the video has not been made public.

Since returning from his suspension, Mixon has emerged as one of the most dynamic players in the Big 12, if not the country. This season, Mixon has 1,084 rushing yards and seven touchdowns along with 30 catches for 430 yards and four scores through the air. He also has a passing touchdown and a kickoff return touchdown this season for the eighth-ranked Sooners. In 2015 as a redshirt freshman, Mixon had 753 rushing yards, 28 catches for 356 yards and 11 total touchdowns (seven rushing, four receiving).

In his statement, Mixon makes reference to a “more recent incident.” He is referring to an incident with a parking attendant that led to his suspension for this year’s Iowa State game.

Mixon’s entire statement to The Oklahoman can be viewed below:

Joe Mixon statement by NewsOK on Scribd

For more Oklahoma news, visit SoonerScoop.com.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!