By Philip Joens
MU Director of Athletics Mike Alden, left, talks with the media regarding the dismissal of Dorial Green-Beckham from the football team on Friday, April 10, 2014. Photo by Philip Joens
Since the day Dorial Green-Beckham committed to play for Missouri’s football team on Feb. 1, 2012 MU students have chanted “DGB! DGB! DGB!”
Those chants will not be heard at Faurot Field anymore.
Green-Beckham was dismissed from Missouri’s football team Friday after an incident on Sunday in which he was accused of shoving his girlfriend’s roommate down four stairs. Green-Beckham was the second MU student athlete dismissed this week after Zach Price was dismissed from the basketball team
At a news conference Friday MU Director of Athletics Mike Alden said the athletic department will not tolerate behavior like this from any student athlete.
“Actions we’ve seen such as what we have seen over the past couple months are unacceptable. That is not the way we are going to represent the University of Missouri, and the thing that is so unfortunate is the significant majority of our kids are doing amazing things.”
Green-Beckham was suspended indefinitely from the football team on Monday for what the athletic department called a “violation of team policies.” Last season he led the team with 59 receptions and 12 touchdowns. Averaging 15 yards per catch, for a total of 883 yards, only L’Damian Washington surpassed him in those categories.
On Thursday Columbia police announced that they would not press charges in Sunday’s incident. The report showed that Green-Beckham’s girlfriend pressured two victims into declining to file a complaint, fearing that the incident would hurt his football career.
“I’m not sticking up for him, but football is really all he has going for him and pressing charges would ruin that for him completely,” Green-Beckham’s girlfriend said in a text message to the victim.
One victim stated in the report that they were “afraid of the media and community backlash since Green-Beckham is a football player at the University of Missouri and is possibly going to be in the NFL draft soon.”
Green-Beckham had his first run-in with Columbia police on Oct. 3, 2012 when he, Levi Copelin and Torey Boozer were charged with possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana. Each player eventually pled guilty to second-degree trespassing and was suspended for a home game against Vanderbilt. Boozer was dismissed from the program in June 2013.
Springfield police also arrested Green-Beckham on January 11 when he was the passenger in a car in which a pound of marijuana was found. Charges were not pressed in that case either.
Sunday’s incident appeared to be the final straw for Alden and coach Gary Pinkel. Alden admitted that Green-Beckham’s prior transgressions played a large role in the decision to dismiss him. They met with Green-Beckham on Monday before the suspension was announced and took the rest of the week to think over the situation.
Pinkel made the final decision to dismiss Green-Beckham.
Pinkel said in a press release today, “Dorial’s priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs. As we have all along, we will continue to do everything we can to assist Dorial and his family. We care deeply about Dorial and his well-being, but hopefully he can benefit from a fresh start.”
With Price’s two arrests last week and Green-Beckham’s alleged assault this week, Alden said he is putting together a plan to help athletes make smart decisions. An independent group will be hired to tell Missouri how it can do a better job of helping its student athletes stay out of trouble.
He also met with every student athlete and coach this week to reinforce MU’s core values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence. Alden said repeatedly that the vast majority of Missouri’s athletes behave themselves but that the few who don’t make the entire school look bad.
“You have to realize that the logo never comes off. It never ever comes off!” Alden said. “No matter where you are, or what you do, you are always going to be representing Mizzou.”
Despite these recent incidents Alden said he doesn’t think the athletic department’s culture has a problem. He did say that this incident showed how tough it can be for all parties to deal with situations where high profile people commit crimes.
For now, Green-Beckham’s football career with the Tigers is over. Alden doesn’t know if he will continue attending classes at MU.
Shortly before news broke about Green-Beckham being dismissed from the team, John Beckham issued a statement from Green-Beckham to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In the statement he said, “”I have been young and dumb. I want to be better. During my suspension I’m entering counseling. I take responsibility for my conduct and my mistakes. Don’t blame my girlfriend or her friends for anything. I am not looking for sympathy. I thank those who have given me concern.”