Orange Bowl

Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon speaks publicly for first time since 2014 suspension

Joe Mixon is surrounded by media members anxious to hear his thoughts about the suspension that cost him all of 2014.
Joe Mixon is surrounded by media members anxious to hear his thoughts about the suspension that cost him all of 2014. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

The biggest crowd around a table Tuesday at the College Football Playoff Semifinal Capital One Orange Bowl Media Day surrounded Oklahoma’s second-leading rusher. Oklahoma redshirt freshman Joe Mixon hadn’t spoken publicly since he was suspended for the 2014 season after being accused of punching a female student.

Mixon sat down, panned the media group with his phone. Asked if he was putting together a Periscope or taking a selfie, he said, “A little of both.”

That nonsensical answer set the tone for the media session.

“I’m going to answer all football questions, nothing else for anything, no situations but football,” Mixon said, repeating what reporters had been told beforehand and what he would say often.

He said he expected to be asked “football questions.” Asked whether he thought he owed it to fans to answer nonfootball questions, he said, “No, not here.”

The Oklahoma Sooners and Clemson Tigers meet with the media at Sun Life Stadium on December 29, 2015.

That might have been possible if Mixon had addressed the punching incident on some training camp Tuesday or bye week Wednesday. As it is, Mixon hasn’t spoken to the media since being suspended for the 2014 incident, in which he allegedly broke four bones in a woman’s face; entered an Alford plea (guilty, but maintaining innocence); and was given one-year delayed sentence, 100 hours community service and told to attend behavior counseling.

Asked whether he, at any point, owed it to the fans to address it, he said, “No, not here.”

When asked whether he thought there would be female Oklahoma fans who wouldn’t root for him because of his actions, Mixon replied, “That’s on them.”

About his year out, which he said he spent going to school and working out with his father, Mixon said, “It was hard watching, and I wished I was playing. But I’m playing now.”

He said he considered transferring early in the suspension, but put that idea behind him.

Mixon remained consistent. On the video that showed Oklahoma fraternity members singing racist lyrics to If You’re Happy and You Know It, he said, “I ain’t got no comment on that.”

Mixon said at times he wanted to talk to the media, “a little bit so they can get to know who I am.”

And who is he?

“A great person.”

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