The Oklahoma Sooners are in the top four of the preseason coaches poll, but it doesn’t mean they will stay there all season. On Monday, their leading tackler, Frank Shannon was suspended for one year after accusations of sexual assaulting a women.
The alleged assault took place at an off-campus apartment in January. After all of the information was in, The Oklahoman reported that Shannon wouldn’t be charged with a crime. After reading the report, it doesn't look like a crime was committed.
However, Sportsline.com reports that Oklahoma is required to conduct an investigation into the incident. Therefore, Shannon must be suspended due to federal law as the investigation continues.
Still, Frank Shannon can appeal the suspension according to Jason Kersey of the Oklahoman. Whether that will be a wise move is up for debate.
Here’s an Excerpt on Sportsline.com via The Oklahoman:
“The accused person can appeal the investigation's findings to a five-member disciplinary panel. One of those panel members is chosen as the chair, who reviews the evidence and the original investigation report during a “prehearing” and determines whether or not a hearing is warranted.
If the chair decides a hearing is needed — based on either insufficient evidence to support the original finding or additional evidence that wasn't available before that might have changed it — a hearing must be scheduled for within 30 days of that decision.”
Frank Shannon led Oklahoma with 92 tackles from his linebacker position and he was supposed to be a huge factor for the Sooners’ road to college football glory.
As expected, Oklahoma has plenty of talented depth on the roster, but the lost of Shannon could hurt the Sooners immensely. CBS Sports notes that Jordan Evans could fill in for Frank Shannon for as long as is needed.
Oklahoma begins the season against Louisiana Tech before visiting Tulsa in September. Three of their first five games are on the road, prior to the neutral site game at the Texas State fair against the Longhorns.
If Shannon can be reinstated to the team by then, he should be a big help. If not, it’s going to be tough for Oklahoma to win the Big 12 and earn a trip to the first college football playoff.
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