Oklahoma suspended the team's leading tackler from last season, linebacker Frank Shannon, for one year, but the school cannot enact the punishment until an appeal is heard.
Shannon was found guilty of violating Oklahoma's sexual misconduct policy, but has the right to appeal the ruling to a district court. That is why the school cannot enforce its decision yet.
In a statement released Monday, University president David Boren said the school reached a decision on June 18 to suspend Shannon from the school and from athletic activities. He added that "the University is currently seeking to enforce its decision so that it may be in compliance with federal law requiring responses by institutions to such matters in a timely manner. With the fall semester beginning August 18, time is of the essence."
Shannon led the Sooners with 92 tackles last season and continues to practice with the team.
The Oklahoman reported that it had obtained a Title IX sexual misconduct allegation report in April in which a female Oklahoma student accused Shannon of sexually assaulting her at an off-campus apartment in January.
The alleged victim did not want to press charges, which is why the Cleveland County district attorney's office did not prosecute the case.
However, the university is obligated by federal law to conduct its own internal investigation and concluded that Shannon should be suspended for a year.
The Sooners are ranked No. 3 in the USA Today coaches preseason college football poll. Their strength is their defense, especially their linebacking corps.