Sports Headlines - August 19



Mixon suspended for the year after misdemeanor charges

Oklahoma has suspended freshman running back Joe Mixon for the season after he pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault.

Mixon, one of the nation's top recruits and a potential starter, is accused of knocking a woman unconscious with a punch and breaking several bones in her face last month.

A release from the school Monday said university President David Boren accepted the recommendation of athletic director Joe Castiglione and coach Bob Stoops to suspend Mixon. He will be excluded from all team activities and removed from the team roster.

After Monday's practice, Stoops chose not to talk about Mixon.

"That's not something I'm going to delve into right now, because it leads to further questions in that regard, and I'm going to talk about the guys that are eligible to play right now," Stoops said.

The school said with appropriate conditions, Mixon will be permitted to continue as a student, eligible for financial aid.

"As the university has demonstrated in the past, we are committed to winning the right way," the school said in the release. "As an example to others, OU sets the highest possible standards for its student athletes, coaches and staff."

According to a probable cause affidavit released by the Cleveland County District Attorney's office, the alleged victim told police Mixon directed a homosexual slur at her friend and there was an argument. The affidavit said that according to surveillance video, the woman then pushed Mixon and Mixon lunged at her. The woman then slapped Mixon in the face, and he reacted by punching her in the face. She fell onto a table, then to the ground, and Mixon then left the scene. The woman suffered a fractured jaw, broken cheek bone, fractured sinus and 'fractured orbit' near her left eye.

Mixon's lawyer, Kevin Finlay, said in a statement last week that he felt the woman should have been charged with assault and battery. He was disappointed that Mixon was charged with the misdemeanor.

"As we have maintained from the beginning, it is our belief that Joe reacted instinctively after being racially slurred and physically assaulted by a highly intoxicated young woman and her male friend," Finlay said. "We strongly disagree with the series of events as portrayed by Norman PD. Justice knows no gender bias, and we do not believe that Joe's actions were criminal in nature."

Stoops wouldn't say why he suggested the one-year ban.

"I'm not going to address the timetable," he said. "It is what it is. We made a decision here today that was announced and that's all I'm going to say about it. I can't say anything else in regard to it."

The decision is important for a team that opens the season ranked No. 4 and has national championship aspirations. The team lost its top two rushers from last season. The coaches say Keith Ford and Alex Ross have been the top two in camp so far, but they combined for just 26 carries last season. Freshman Samaje Perine also is in the picture.

"A lot of those guys are gonna need to play for us," quarterback Trevor Knight said. "Samaje Perine's been a hammer in there, just pounding the football, doing a really good job. Keith Ford's been doing a great job. Alex Ross has been doing a great job and Daniel Brooks and David Smith — they're getting in there and making plays."

Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said he doesn't expect the running back competition to be decided before the season starts.

"Ultimately, on game day, we're going to find out who the guy is," he said. "Hopefully, somebody gets the hot hand and we can ride him that way."


Davish, others cleared for waivers

Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Sin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus all cleared waivers on Monday, making it possible for the Texas Rangers to trade any of these players.

Considering the size of the contracts each player has, though, teams wanting to make a deal would have a substantial amount of years remaining on their contracts to deal with.

Team officials don’t comment on players clearing waivers, however, the moves are interesting with the Rangers looking for high-quality prospects.

Two weeks ago, the team was able to get starting right fielder Alex Rios through waivers, but he has yet to be traded.

 
The biggest name on the list, Darvish, is currently on a 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. He should return on August 25 for the Seattle games, and would most likely have to pitch a pain-free bullpen session before being allowed in the game.


U.S. will likely have final roster by week's end

 
Team USA will likely make its final cut by the end of the week, possibly by Thursday.
 
Team USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said that one scenario under consideration is reducing the current 16-member team down to 12 or 13.

The cut would likely come after playing a Al Horford-less Dominican team, setting up coach Mike Krzyzewski with the best possible squad to take to the FIBA World Cup, which will start next Saturday in Spain.

Krzyzewski returned to his alma mater on Monday with the U.S. national team, which toured the campus, ate lunch with cadets in the mess hall and held an open practice for military personnel and families.

The basketball was limited on a day Krzyzewski spent more time addressing the crowd than his players during practice. But even with the Basketball World Cup opener just 12 days away, he thought the trip benefited his team no matter how much work the players did.

"To spend a day here is better than any offensive or defensive drill you could have," Krzyzewski said. "It bonds the team together and that's what today was about."

The team traveled about 90 minutes by bus Monday morning from New York to the upstate campus where Krzyzewski played under Bob Knight and later returned to coach the Black Knights. He gets back here at least once a year for a ceremony where an award named in his honor is given, but it's hard to imagine he's ever more popular on campus than he was Monday, when he received a loud ovation in the mess hall and was cheered louder than any of the 16 NBA players on the roster before practice.

"To come and see, one, how much people love him here — his picture on the wall, they have an award named after him — I don't know if this is the exact gym he played in, but just to kind of live his life for a day was pretty awesome," All-Star guard Stephen Curry said.

USA Basketball has prioritized its relationship with the military and the Hoops for Troops program under managing director Jerry Colangelo and Krzyzewski, visiting Arlington National Cemetery and hosting an open practice at a Washington armory with the 2012 Olympic team.

This time, players watched cadets perform an indoor obstacle test and train in the combat pool survival swim lab, then visited a wall honoring Krzyzewski and the award that's given for "teaching character through sport."

"Don't make jokes," he said as players pulled out their phones and snapped photos of the wall, which featured a nearly half-century old picture of Krzyzewski from his academy days.

The Americans also visited the West Point Cemetery and posed for a team picture on the steps of the mess hall, creating a bit of commotion as some cadets stopped to take pictures before being ordered to get back in formation.

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