The state's highest court could decide the future for the University of Oklahoma's leading tackler, Frank Shannon.
The University suspended the linebacker following an investigation into an alleged sexual assault, but a district court ruling has put that suspension on hold. As a result, University administrators have taken the case to the State Supreme Court, where they are asking justices to affirm OU's right to discipline its students -- one student in particular, OU's leading linebacker Frank Shannon.
Shannon was accused of sexually assaulting a female student at an off-campus apartment in January.
Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn declined to file criminal charges at that time.
Mashburn said, during the investigation, the alleged victim recanted and declined to press charges against Shannon.
Still, the University conducted its own investigation and found him guilty of violating its sexual conduct policy and, in June, decided to suspend him for one year.
In hopes of still playing this fall, Shannon appealed the suspension in district court.
Cleveland County District Judge Tracy Schumacher issued a temporary stay that prevented the University from enforcing the suspension.
So, currently, Shannon is enrolled as a student and participating in OU football activities.
OU President David Boren said in response, "The University is unable to enforce its process at this time. The University has and is taking every legal step possible to move this process forward."
That includes filing a petition asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to intervene.
In the petition, OU claims the district court had no right to keep them from disciplining Shannon, and, in doing so, has caused the University to publish programs and other materials identifying Shannon as a 2014-2015 football player and also forced OU to include him on a capacity-filled roster and scholarship fund.
"Time is of the essence," Boren said.
With classes starting next week, OU is hoping the justices will rule quickly in the matter and uphold Shannon's suspension. Shannon's attorney, Alitia Timmons did not comment in time for this report.