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Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon charged with misdemeanor


Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon's future became a little clearer on Friday afternoon.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn confirmed that the freshman tailback would be charged with one misdemeanor count of an act resulting in gross injury. Norman police had reportedly just wrapped up their investigation into an alleged assault involving Mixon and turned the case over to Mashburn's office.

Mashburn said on Friday that he expects Mixon will turn himself in for arraignment on Monday, according to The Tulsa World.

Mixon faces up to a year in jail if convicted. No others were charged in the incident.

The former five-star recruit did not report to training camp with the team last month while he dealt with the issue.

Mixon allegedly punched a female student at an off-campus restaurant in late July during a birthday celebration. According to the affidavit filed on Friday, the alleged victim was found to have a fractured jaw, fractured cheek bone, fractured sinus and fractured orbit which caused a hematoma on the left eye.

Mixon's attorney, Kevin Finlay, released a statement on Friday and said he was disappointed with the district attorney's decision.

"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. 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.

"We are also disappointed that it appears that no assault and battery charges will be filed against the young woman for her actions on the morning of July 25th."

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione released a statement on Friday regarding the charge against Mixon, but didn't shed any light on Mixon's status with the football program.

"The University of Oklahoma understands that charges have now been filed against Joe Mixon based upon investigation by local law enforcement agencies," Castiglione said in the statement. "Under its policies, the University must independently evaluate student conduct matters and will review the facts as part of its internal process. At an appropriate time, the University will determine Mixon's status."

Oklahoma lost most of its backfield to the NFL draft and graduation during the offseason. Mixon was expected to be a part of the running back rotation early on in 2014. Sophomores Keith Ford, Alex Ross and Daniel Brooks will likely split carries in some fashion when the Sooners open the season against Louisiana Tech on Aug. 30.

Oklahoma has had its eye on another legal matter this week, too. The school announced it had issued a one-year suspension to star linebacker Frank Shannon on Monday but the case is apparently making its way to the state Supreme Court to be resolved between the two parties. Shannon had been found guilty of violating the school's sexual-misconduct policy after allegedly assaulting a female student at his off-campus apartment in January. Mashburn chose not to prosecute the case.

The Sooners are ranked No. 4 in the College Football 24/7 Power Rankings.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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