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An Oklahoma dad faces child abuse charges after allegedly beating his 9-year-old son for rooting for the wrong football team.
Gannon Mendez is an Oklahoma State University booster. The 42-year-old man is also the father of a nine-year-old Oklahoma Sooners fan.
Mendez allegedly took his fandom to fanatic levels as he beat his son for cheering on the "wrong" team, reports The Huffington Post. The Cowboys fan allegedly struck the boy with a wooden paddle, along with other incidents of alleged abuse.
You may recognize the name Gannon Mendez. The booster was involved in a scandal two years ago when he was connected with possibly giving extra benefits to OSU football players including Justin Blackmon. The incident led to the university self-reporting violations to the NCAA.
Mendez refused to talk to the university during the investigation and to this day, OSU players are forbidden from making contact with him.
Besides being an overzealous Cowboys fan, the picture being painted by authorities is that Mendez is also a bad father. Investigators say that he previously was involved in alleged child abuse for reportedly forcing his son to run until he vomited and waking him up in the middle of the night to do pushups, writes HuffPo.
The 9-year-old boy has been taken to a youth shelter.
In Oklahoma, the use of corporal punishment by parents is specifically allowed. The use of corporal punishment is limited to "ordinary force as means of discipline" and specifically allows spanking, switching, or paddling.
Parents may have many different reasons to discipline a child including breaking rules, not doing homework, and (perhaps) even rooting for the wrong team. After all, who is a court to tell a parent how to raise a child?
However, the question in Gannon Mendez's child abuse case may be whether his paddling was excessive. The court will have to look at the force of the paddling and any injuries caused to the child.