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Shawn Oakman Sold Baylor Bowl Ring to Pay Legal Fees for Sexual Assault Case

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2019

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2016, file photo, Baylor defensive lineman Shawn Oakman performs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Former Baylor University President Ken Starr told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he hosted a fundraiser at his home for the legal defense fund of Shawn Oakman, a former star defensive end for the Bears who was acquitted of rape last month. Starr was fired as Baylor's president in 2016, after an investigation determined there was a
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Former Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman said Tuesday that he sold a bowl ring in order to pay for legal fees associated with a sexual assault case against him. 

In an interview special with Ben Raymond called Shawn Oakman: The Rebirth, Oakman discussed what lengths he had to go to in order to contest the sexual assault allegations against him:

"Basically I had one of my bowl game rings. I sold my bowl game ring on eBay ... to pay for my lawyer," Oakman said.

Baylor lost the Fiesta Bowl and Cotton Bowl in 2013 and 2014, respectively, but the Bears were victorious in the 2015 Russell Athletic Bowl during Oakman's tenure.

Oakman said he also sunk thousands into defending himself before eventually settling on a public defender: "I went through two paid lawyers. The second lawyer, it got all the way to trial. The week before she needed $60K just to step in the courtroom. I already gave her $60K ... but she needed $60K just to step into the courtroom, so she dropped my case. I didn't have it."

Just days before the 2016 NFL draft, Oakman was faced with sexual assault allegations, which resulted in him going undrafted.

In February, Oakman was acquitted of forcible rape. Oakman denied any wrongdoing throughout the case and said he had consensual sex with the woman.

A drop-off in production as a senior at Baylor in 2015 likely would have resulted in Oakman lasting past the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, but he almost certainly would have been selected, perhaps as early as the second round.

Prior to recording 43 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks as a senior, Oakman finished with 52 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a junior in 2014.

Now 27 years of age, Oakman's only professional football experience is as part of the American Arena League, Champions Indoor Football and The Spring League.

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