Posted: 4:38 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014
By Tony Barnhart
These facts are not in dispute:
• On Friday, April 11, sophomore wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was kicked off the Missouri football team. In the school’s announcement of the decision, director of athletics Mike Alden said this: “We have a high standard of conduct for our student athletes. … We are also responsible to the community at large and the ideas and values of the University of Missouri.”
• Just five days before he was asked to leave, Green-Beckham was involved in an incident, outlined by an 18-page police report, where he forced his way into an apartment occupied by his girlfriend and two roommates. Looking for the girlfriend, Green-Beckham shoved one of the roommates “down at least four stairs,” injuring her wrist, according to the police report. The other roommate witnessed the act.
• The officer on the scene applied for a warrant for Green-Beckham’s arrest for the charge of first-degree burglary.
• The two roommates later went to the Columbia (Mo.) police station where they both declined to press charges.
• Just after the incident and before the trip to the police department, the girlfriend sent a long text message to the alleged victim asking that she not press charges. What follows is part of that text that was published in the police report: “You have every right to be furious,” the girlfriend wrote. “I’m not sticking up for him, but football really is all he has going for him and pressing charges would ruin it for him completely.”
• According to the police report, the alleged victim said she didn’t want to press charges because “she was afraid of the media and community backlash since Green-Beckham is a football player for the University of Missouri and is possibly going to be in the NFL Draft soon.”
Here is the entire police report. Read it for yourself:
This event, combined with two marijuana arrests (one of which was thrown out because “somebody else” in the car claimed the pot was his), Missouri decided that Green-Beckham, one of the most highly recruited players in the country in 2012, needed a change of scenery.
I wrote all of the above to set you up for this: Green-Beckham has transferred to Oklahoma, where the school is now petitioning the NCAA to make him immediately eligible to play. And this is the best part: OU is claiming that DGB should play because Missouri ran him off.
The NCAA put a “run off” rule into effect to protect athletes who are cut from a team through no fault of their own. If an athlete gets run off because he’s just not good enough, this allows the athlete to skip the regular transfer rule and play immediately elsewhere.
It is a three-pronged test but you only need to know the first one. In order to get a waiver for a player the new school must present:
“Documentation demonstrating that the student-athlete would not have had the opportunity to return to the previous institution’s team for reasons outside (emphasis added) the control of the student-athlete.”
No really. OU is serious about this. The school has talked to Missouri, put together the documentation and filed for the waiver.
Just asking: Were two pot arrests and a burglary and shoving a woman down some stairs “outside the control” of this student athlete? When Missouri let Green-Beckham go, both Alden and coach Gary Pinkel made it clear that the player’s behavior caused the dismissal.
I believe in second chances but not like this. This rule was put in place for a specific reason and to let Green-Beckham play under these circumstances would be a perversion of the rule’s intent. Let him sit out a year, get his act together, and play in 2015.
Looks like we’ve got a whole bunch of rationalization going on. He’ a great player. He can’t enter the NFL draft until next year. The adults are clearly trying to get a talented, but troubled, young man to the NFL finish line regardless of what the rules say.
Plus Oklahoma is already dealing with two other cases where football players have been charged with assaults on women.
The optics here are pretty bad for OU. My concern is that the NCAA is getting a bit gun shy and may take the line of least resistance. Let’s hope not. This player needs to sit this season.