By Daniel Stober
For anyone, a lot happens in two and a half years. In two a half years, I’ve started dating my wonderful girlfriend. We moved in together. We bought a dog. I’ve bought a new car, and I’ve even gotten a promotion at work and I’ve even decided to go back to school in the spring. Time flies… unless your name is Joe Mixon. For the past two and a half years he has been dealing with one thing and one thing alone. “What if…” “What if I never went out that night?” “What if I never walked down campus corner?” “What if I never went into that restaurant?” And most importantly “What if I never hit that woman?”
This week we have gotten nearly to the end of this saga. The video has come out. The police report has been unveiled. Stoops and Mixon have also had press conferences. With the ending in sight (the only thing left that can happen is if Molitor herself comes out and apologizes for her actions as well) we can start putting matters to rest.
Stoops’ conference set out with two goals in mind. (1) First, to explain how the actions taken against Mixon were just. And (2) to assure the media that there will be ZERO tolerance on issues like this in the future. In his conference, Stoops also made sure to remind everyone that a young man made one mistake two and a half years ago. That two and a half years ago, times were different. That we can’t be examining from that long ago with rose tinted glasses. He believes that two and a half years ago (29 months to those of you counting) he analyzed the situation and under his suggestion, an apt punishment was laid out. Mixon was removed from anything to do with the team and had to work toward a chance to come back. As he explained, he gave Mixon the opportunity to go to another school if he pleased but he wanted to come back to Norman. He did his time and came back to the team. Reporters then asked him how he would handle situations like this from now on. The answer was clear: though he does believe in second chances, nowadays there is no chance of ever getting one.
That, to me, is a little depressing. We now live in an era where one mistake at a young age will cost you for the rest of your life. There is no option for redemption. Let’s be clear here, I’m not advocating to have a team full of criminals. This isn’t “The Longest Yard” but an occasional feel-good story was nice. But I digress.
The Mixon conference was heartfelt as he showed remorse for his actions. He looked and sounded distraught and sincere. He apologized to Molitor, his Mom, Stoops, and his coaching staff. He apologized to Molitor so many times that it began to sound like a Marshawn Lynch interview. Mixon also went on to say that even his minor altercation with the parking attendant should have gone differently too. That it was his first ticket and didn’t know how to deal with it. He knows he made a mistake and thanked the University and Bob Stoops for a second chance. When he was recruited by Stoops, Mixon said, Bob came into his home and talked with his mother as well. Stoops assured Mixon’s mother that he would treat Mixon as one of his own. This holds true as Stoops didn’t turn his back on Mixon and helped him come back from rock bottom. He also thanked his teammates for helping him through these last couple weeks.
One reporter even asked “Joe, have you ever hit a woman at any other time in your life?” like what were you hoping to get out of that question? Even IF he did why would you say yes to that question? Such a waste of time with the one word answer of “No.”
I feel like we have come to the long sought after the conclusion to this story. Yes, both parties were in the wrong. One has made all the right moves since the incident and has tried to move on from it. The other is still milking it for all it’s worth. But I hope this is the end of it for everyone’s sake. It’s time to move on. Everything that can be said has been said has been said the only thing left to do is to cheer for our boys in the crimson and crème in the Sugar Bowl. After all, it’s been two and a half years.