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Oklahoma's Joe Mixon apologizes for punching woman in 2014

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More than two years after punching a female student prior to his freshman season at Oklahoma, Joe Mixon has made a public apology in a letter.

The Sooners' star rusher, now nearing the end of his redshirt sophomore year, was suspended for his entire freshman season after the incident. Mixon's apology acknowledges that he struck Amelia Molitor during a heated argument at a campus deli in 2014 and maintains, as Mixon said from the beginning, that he was targeted by racial slurs. The letter was published on Tuesday by The Oklahoman.

"For the last two years, my lawyers have advised me against speaking publicly about an incident that occurred very shortly after I arrived in Norman. Today, I want to say what everyone deserves to hear from me about this matter: I am sorry," Mixon wrote in the statement. " ... The situation got tense. Racial slurs were hurled at me. I should have left, but I did not. A woman shoved me. I was upset and I should have left, but I did not. Then, she slapped me, and I reacted poorly -- I struck her. It was a bad reaction, one that does not reflect my character or my values. I am sorry."

Molitor suffered facial bone fractures and required eight hours of surgery. Mixon was charged with acts resulting in gross injury, a misdemeanor. A plea agreement settled the case with Mixon serving one year of probation, counseling, and 100 hours of community service. Molitor also brought a civil lawsuit against Mixon. On Monday, an Oklahoma City judge dismissed two of the suit's three claims.

As a third-year sophomore, Mixon (6-foot-1, 226 pounds) could apply for early eligibility into the 2017 NFL Draft. Underclassmen have until a Jan. 16 deadline to do so. This season has been the best of Mixon's career, as he's rushed for 1,084 yards on 157 carries despite missing OU's game against Iowa State due to a suspension. OU coach Bob Stoops sat Mixon out of that game after he tore up a campus parking ticket in front of the issuing parking attendant.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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