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Frank Shannon Suspension Would Hurt Oklahoma Defense
Oklahoma should be favored in every game this regular season with a weak non-conference schedule and the fact the Big 12 isn't considered very strong this year outside of perhaps Baylor. Thus the Sooners are heavy 2/3 favorites to win the Big 12 and 9/1 to win the national title.
Perhaps OU will accomplish all that, but it likely will be without one of its best defensive players in linebacker Frank Shannon as he was suspended by the school for a year -- well, he will be suspended. Shannon was accused of sexually assaulting a female at an off-campus apartment in January, but the district attorney opted not to file charges. The school was required to conduct its own investigation, per Title IX federal law, and Shannon's suspension comes as a result of that investigation.
According to university president David Boren’s statement, “the University is unable to enforce its process at this time. The University has and is taking every legal step possible to move this process forward."
According to The Oklahoman’s Jason Kersey, OU is fighting to uphold its one year suspension in the state Supreme Court. “The university is asking the court to prohibit a Cleveland County district judge from enforcing an order allowing Shannon to remained enrolled as a student and participate in OU football activities,” the report said.
The report also states Shannon was suspended in June, but a stay was granted by the district judge within a week, allowing him to practice and stay with the team since. Because Shannon has the right to appeal the ruling to a district court, that's why the university can 't enforce its decision at the moment. Would Bob Stoops dare play the guy during an appeal? That would be horrible PR.
Shannon led the Sooners with 92 tackles last season and has continued practicing with the team. He was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2013. His return was supposed to give Oklahoma perhaps the nation's best linebacking corps entering the 2014 season.
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