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OU kicker Calum Sutherland suspended indefinitely from team

OU kicker Calum Sutherland suspended indefinitely from team

OU kicker Calum Sutherland newsok

Oklahoma's Calum Sutherland misses a field goal attempt against Houston on Sept. 1. OU still won 49-31. BRYAN TERRY/The Oklahoman file

Sophomore place-kicker Calum Sutherland has been suspended indefinitely from the Oklahoma football program, the school announced Friday afternoon.

Sutherland was arrested in the early morning hours Sept. 21 on a complaint of public intoxication.

According to the Norman Police Department affidavit, a woman identified Sutherland as her boyfriend and told an officer he had a short physical and verbal altercation with her. In the affidavit, the officer said he did not observe any injuries on her.

The Oklahoman reported Friday that Sutherland is now under a Title IX investigation through the university. A Norman Police Department spokesperson said Sutherland is no longer under investigation and no further charges are expected.

“We have been aware of the matter and Calum has been suspended indefinitely since we were notified,” OU spokesman Mike Houck told the Tulsa World.

Title IX is a federal mandate established in 1972 that requires all claims of sexual and physical harassment, assault, discrimination and misconduct be reported by employees and investigated. Failure to comply with the law’s guidelines can lead to fines or the loss of federal funding.

According to OU’s website, Title IX policy violations include gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and pregnancy discrimination.

According to school policy, the investigation “generally should be completed within 60 calendar days of receipt of the complaint, preferably sooner as practical.”

Sutherland appeared in three games after winning the starting kicker’s job. He made 2-of-4 field goals before his suspension. Gabe Brkic assumed the role and made both of his field-goal attempts last week against Texas Tech.

Following Sutherland’s arrest, OU coach Lincoln Riley addressed the player’s situation.

“We’re going to deal with it. I’m not going to tell you how we’re going to deal with it. It’s going to be handled internally, but trust me it’ll be handled appropriately and a correct message set on what we expect in our program, conduct that’s expected,” Riley said. “And when guys drop below the line they’re going to be punished. We’ll deal with it, but I’m not going to sit up here and go through the laundry list of things that are going to happen there. I hope that you would respect that.”

Norman police responded to a disturbance at the Callaway Apartments around 3:30 a.m. Sept. 21, according to the affidavit. Police were told by the woman that Sutherland was “extremely intoxicated and there was a high likelihood he was going to return back to the apartments and continue to cause problems.”

Police discovered Sutherland nearby and placed the 19-year-old under arrest after recognizing he was intoxicated. Sutherland told police he had been drinking at Logie’s on the Corner. The affidavit stated that officers observed him to “have thick and somewhat slowed speech at times. It appeared to me Calum was in an intoxicated condition in which he wasn’t totally aware of what he was and had been doing. He was placed under arrest for his safety and the safety of the other parties involved in the prior disturbance.”

This would be the second time in three months an OU football player has been through a Title IX investigation. Running back Kennedy Brooks wasn’t with the team until midway through summer after going through the process. Brooks was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Oklahoma issued a statement at the time.

“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.”

Riley was asked in early August about how the school handled Brooks’ process.

“I have to refer back to that university statement. As I said in Arlington (during Big 12 Media Days), they are the people that handle that. We have to have respect to that process and how it goes on,” Riley said. “I would say that it’s a topic that we’re extremely sensitive to. We have around-the-year education with our guys on that. It’s something that we take extremely serious, so serious in fact that when there is an inquiry or process ongoing, we’re proactive enough to remove our guys from the team before a decision has even been made. We take it as serious as we possibly can and we let the people whose job that is do their job.”

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Sports Writer

I cover college football and college basketball for the Tulsa World since 2012. I spend her spare time as an animal rescue volunteer, focusing on spaying and neutering community cats in the Tulsa area. Phone: 918-581-8452

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