Source: Jason Kersey/NewsOk
After more than two months of fighting in court, the University of Oklahoma will be allowed to enforce its one-year suspension of junior linebacker Frank Shannon following an Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruling Monday.
The state’s highest court ruled that Cleveland County District Judge Tracy Schumacher did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the Shannon case, and should not have issued a stay allowing him to remain enrolled at the university and part of the football team after he was found to have violated the school’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy.
As first reported by The Oklahoman in April, a female student alleged that Shannon sexually assaulted her at his off-campus apartment in late January.
The Supreme Court also ruled Monday that the documents in this case are to remained sealed.
Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn declined to prosecute Shannon in criminal court months ago, but universities are required by federal law to conduct independent investigations of all sexual misconduct allegations.
Shannon went through a lengthy Title IX appeals process, but in the end, OU determined he had violated the school’s sexual misconduct policy. Six days after being suspended, Shannon went to Cleveland County District Court and received a stay.
OU petitioned the Oklahoma Supreme Court last month to remove the stay, calling Schumacher’s action “an unconstitutional invasion of the University’s powers” to self-govern.
They also argued Shannon shouldn’t be able to contest his suspension in court because he wasn’t expelled, and Oklahoma’s Administrative Procedures Act excludes OU and all public universities from its purview except in the case of expulsion.
Shannon, the team’s leading tackler last season, hadn’t appeared in any games so far this season for the Sooners despite Schumacher’s stay. His attorney, Aletia Timmons, said during a news conference in late August that Shannon would stand “in silent protest” of the way he’s been treated.