The University of Oklahoma’s efforts to suspend starting linebacker and leading tackler Frank Shannon for one year reached the Oklahoma State Supreme Court on Monday.
The university is asking the court to prohibit a Cleveland County district judge from enforcing an order allowing Shannon to remained enrolled as a student and participate in OU football activities.
OU suspended Shannon on June 18 following a Title IX investigation into an alleged sexual assault. Shannon went to district court June 24 and received a stay, allowing him to remain enrolled as a student and to continue working out with the team.
According to a petition obtained by The Oklahoman, the district court offered an expedited hearing. The petition stated that the hearing was set for Monday but was “stricken” due to “Shannon’s counsel’s unavailability.” That hearing was postponed until Aug. 21 — nine days before Oklahoma opens its 2014 football season against Louisiana Tech.
“The University is unable to enforce its process at this time,” OU president David Boren said of Shannon’s suspension in a statement released Monday afternoon. “The University has and is taking every legal step possible to move this process forward.”
According to a petition, OU is asking the state’s high court to intervene, citing three reasons that the district judge shouldn’t be able to stop Shannon’s suspension.
The first is that Shannon’s appeal is based on Oklahoma’s Administrative Procedures Act, which was amended by the state legislature 13 days before his suspension to exclude OU and all public universities from its purview.
The second is that the district court’s stay “was an unconstitutional invasion of the University’s powers” to self-govern, and the third is that Shannon wasn’t expelled; he was suspended, meaning it doesn’t fall under the district court’s purview. (More at The Oklahoman)
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