Bob Stoops defends decision to keep Joe Mixon at Oklahoma

DALLAS -- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops stood firm on the decision to keep running back Joe Mixon as a member of the Sooners' program Tuesday.

Stoops reiterated his desire to give second chances while also expressing a staunch belief that violence "should not be tolerated."

Mixon spent the entire 2014 season suspended from team activities after an alleged incident that summer in which he was accused of punching a woman in the face and charged with a misdemeanor. Mixon entered an Alford plea in his misdemeanor assault case Oct. 30, and agreed to perform 100 hours of community service and undergo counseling.

Violence against women has received plenty of national attention in recent months, with multiple incidents of college football players being accused of hitting women. That prompted questions about Mixon's continued participation in the Sooners' program during Big 12 media days Tuesday.

"First, let me say there's no place for it. It should never happen," Stoops said. "There's not only domestic violence, but there's violence toward women, there's violence in general. None of it should be tolerated, and it has been disciplined."

Mixon returned to the team, with some restrictions, in the spring. The redshirt freshman did not participate in OU's spring game, but he did go through the majority of spring drills with the Sooners and is expected to play a role alongside Samaje Perine in the offense this fall. He was the No. 53 player in the ESPN 300 and was considered one of the gems of the Sooners' Class of 2014.

"We disciplined in a certain way depending on the circumstances we have, and these guys have had significant penalties," Stoops said. "They've had a lot of other internal measures to meet and to stand up to, and if all those were met, then they had the opportunity to redeem themselves and hopefully grow from their experience.

"We also feel that, being an educational institution and the age of these young men, they deserve an opportunity to do that, and it's our job to help them. But they also know that we have some very high standards for them to meet, and if they're not met, then they won't be with us any longer."