Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, speaking to reporters for the first time since video was released last week that showed him punching OU student Ameila Molitor when he was a freshman in 2014, apologized on Friday for his actions on that July night.
"I'm here to basically apologize to Ms. Molitor, I apologize to coach (Bob) Stoops, to president (David) Boren, the AD (Joe Castoglione), my teammates, most of all my family. I let a lot of people down," Mixon said. "I apologize to my mother. Growing up my mother worked hard, a single parent, two brothers, three sisters, nieces and nephews. ... They all look up to me. It is never, never OK to retaliate and hit a woman the way I did. I'm here to apologize to everybody that was affected by it."
Molitor underwent surgery for four facial bone fractures, and remained enrolled at OU.
A video of the incident was made public by Mixon's attorneys last week after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered its release. The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters had sued for access to the video.
Mixon has yet to decide whether he will file for early eligibility to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. Whenever he enters the draft -- as a third-year sophomore, he could be available in 2017, 2018 or 2019 -- NFL clubs will have plenty of questions for Mixon about the incident as they develop a scouting profile on his character.
"I'm not worried about the NFL right now. I'm totally committed to the team," Mixon said. "I haven't made a decision."
Mixon was suspended from the football team for one season for punching Molitor and was charged with acts resulting in gross injury, a misdemeanor. A plea agreement resulted in one year of probation, 100 hours of community service and counseling. He returned to the OU football team in 2015.
An AFC executive has described Mixon as "a hard sell to ownership" because of the negative publicity it could bring to a franchise to draft him.
Mixon issued a statement apologizing for the incident in November, but Friday marked the first time he has answered questions about the matter in more than two years since he struck Molitor at a campus deli.
College underclassmen face a Jan. 16 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility.
Mixon took a redshirt in 2014 while on suspension. He ran for 753 yards on 113 carries in 2015 before taking on a larger role in the OU offense this season. Mixon (6-feet-1, 226 pounds) rushed for 1,183 yards this year on only 168 carries (7.0-yard average). An NFC executive told College Football 24/7 that Mixon is the most talented player on the OU roster.