Since the Joe Mixon tape was released to the public Friday night, I can’t say that it changed my opinion on much of anything about the matter.
The video showed exactly what was described by the members of the media who saw it two years ago. The punch to Amelia Molitor was extraordinarily vicious, and trying to justify Mixon’s retaliation remains as ludicrous now as when this first occurred.
But since we’re on the subject, a few more thoughts:
*The efforts to keep this tape out of the public domain have been shameful. Doesn’t matter if you love or hate the press – the assertion that the video wasn’t part of the public record was patently absurd.
*Meanwhile, the video just hung over Mixon and the program for going on three years. Even though OU had no legal standing in the case, it’s easy to portray the school’s decision regarding Mixon’s status as the result of a cynical gamble that the video would never see the light of day.
If suppressing the tape was a ploy of a way to take the heat off Mixon or OU, it had the exact opposite effect.
*The other problem with kicking the can is that it gave the media multiple chances to fire away at Mixon, Bob Stoops and the school despite the revelation of any new information related to the case.
*For his part, Mixon’s media blackout made him look like an enabled dickhead who refused to take any responsibility for his actions. I say "look like" because, hell, despite living in a media fishbowl, he hasn't shown anyone anything besides: 1) he's a hell of a running back; and 2) he decked a girl.
OU's coaches sticking up for him doesn't change that. Mixon certainly didn’t owe the media anything, but not talking didn’t do him any favors.
*In sum, I’d describe the P.R. strategy behind this as a shit show dressed in a clown suit.
*Ironically, I can see why Molitor’s legal team pushed to keep the video suppressed. Random strangers witnessing a moment like that sounds plenty unappealing as it is. But from my amateur perspective, the tape seems to undercut her civil case against Mixon.
*Lastly, we all know that the next time Bob Stoops is in front of the media, he’s going to get peppered with questions about the video. As a fan, my hope is that drops his reflexive defensiveness and just explains himself.
They’re legitimate questions, and while the answers may not be popular, there actually are reasonable arguments in support of granting second chances. (Nick Saban, for one, articulates his position very well.)
Fat chance, but whatever.