Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon could miss the 2014 season due to a one-year suspension announced by OU president David Boren on Monday.
Shannon was accused of sexually assaulting a female at an off-campus apartment in January, according to a report obtained by The Oklahoman, but the Cleveland County District Attorney declined to charge Shannon in the case.
The school is required to conduct its own investigation, per federal law, and Shannon's suspension comes as a result of that investigation.
Shannon led the team with 92 tackles last season, and his presumed availability for 2014 is one reason why the Sooners' defense is considered to be among the best in the country. He was listed on the team's official roster in the 2014 media guide and was present during "Meet the Sooners Day" festivities.
As Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman noted last week, the suspension does not neccessarily end the process for Shannon. He could choose to appeal the suspension.
The accused person can appeal the investigation's findings to a five-member disciplinary panel. One of those panel members is chosen as the chair, who reviews the evidence and the original investigation report during a “prehearing” and determines whether or not a hearing is warranted.
If the chair decides a hearing is needed — based on either insufficient evidence to support the original finding or additional evidence that wasn't available before that might have changed it — a hearing must be scheduled for within 30 days of that decision.
Oklahoma has talented sophomore Jordan Evans ready for more playing time should Shannon miss some, or all, of the 2014 season.