Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks has been cleared of any violation in an investigation conducted by OU’s Title IX office and will rejoin the Sooners this week after he was suspended and had been held from team activities and workouts this summer, per The Athletic’s Jason Kersey.
According to The Athletic, a female student on OU’s campus filed a Title IX complaint against Brooks earlier this summer, stating that the redshirt sophomore had been physically violent with her. The alleged victim chose to file her complaint with OU’s Title IX office, not the police, which by rule established a separate investigation from any legal proceedings.
Brooks remained in Norman during the investigation and was cleared Tuesday and expected to return to the team Wednesday, The Athletic reported.
Per Title IX, a federal mandate established in 1972, all claims of sexual and physical harassment, assault, discrimination and misconduct must be reported by mandated reporters — which includes a majority of university staff — on campus. Failure to comply with the law’s guidelines can lead to fines or the loss of federal funding.
OUInsider.com, and later the OU Daily, reported Monday that Brooks had not been participating in team activities due to off-the-field matters, but that the Mansfield, Texas, native was not in the transfer portal. When Brooks was named to the All-Big 12 preseason team on Tuesday afternoon, OU included him in a social media post and the 5-foot-11, 209-pound running back celebrated the honor on Instagram.
OUInsider reported that Brooks had not participated in summer workouts since the team returned in Norman in June.
On Tuesday night, OU released a statement:
“When the OU Athletics Department is made aware of a potential issue involving a student-athlete, it may elect to withhold the student-athlete from participation in team activities during a review of the matter. Per University policy, OU Athletics does not participate in any such reviews or investigations involving a complaint. Those reviews are handled independently by the appropriate University office. At this time, it’s expected that Kennedy Brooks will participate in football team activities later this week.”
Despite not starting a game, Brooks was OU’s leading rusher in 2018, gaining 1,056 yards on 119 carries (8.9 average) with 12 touchdowns while sharing carries with Trey Sermon, who added 947 yards.
The Sooners open the season at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 1 (Sunday) against Houston.