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Top Oklahoma LB Frank Shannon suspended after assault investigation

The suspension is pending an appeal.

Jonathan Daniel

University of Oklahoma president David Boren announced on Monday that the Sooners' star linebacker and top 2013 tackler, Frank Shannon, has been suspended for a year.

Crimson & Cream Machine has more on what this means from a football standpoint ...

A thirteen-game starter in 2013, Shannon amassed 92 total tackles (7 for loss), 2 sacks, and an interception. He was also the team's leading tackler (in) Oklahoma's Sugar Bowl win over Alabama with seven take downs.

The spotlight now turns to sophomore Jordan Evans who is currently Shannon's back up. In 2013 Evans played in eight games and recorded twelve tackles in the process. Other possibilities at the spot could be senior Caleb Gastelum, junior Londell Taylor, and even JUCO transfer Devante Bond.

... though it's an especially complicated story.

This isn't exactly a typical football player suspension. For one, the president of the university was the one announcing the suspension. Also, the suspension had first been handed down in June and was appealed, but was announced now.

However, it appears that, via NewsOK, the suspension is regarding Title IX and related to a sexual assault allegation brought against Shannon in May that he was not charged for, per the alleged victim's request. In order to comply with federal law, the university needs to suspend Shannon before the start of the new school year.

According to Boren's statement, though, "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.

"The University is currently seeking to enforce its decision so that it may be in compliance with federal law requiring responses by institutions to such matters in a timely manner. With the fall semester beginning August 18, time is of the essence."

Basically ...

  • Shannon was accused of sexual assault in January, but the alleged victim chose not to file charges. However, the university was still required to conduct its own Title IX investigation.
  • The university concluded that Shannon should be suspended, and he was on June 18.
  • However, since Shannon appealed, the university can't legally suspend him. But in order to comply with federal Title IX laws, they must suspend him "in a timely manner." Hence today's announcement and why OU is trying to figure this out before the start of the school year.