A sad tale
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 23:09:16 GMT —
It was all so right, but it went so wrong.
Gary Pinkel came out of his seat when wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham announced he was bringing his football talents to the University of Missouri.
This announcement was nationally televised on ESPN, because DGB was more sought after than a cup of water in the desert. He was rated the top recruit in the 2012 class at ANY position.
"I was in my office, but I didn't want to watch it," Pinkel said that day. "I was just hoping somebody would start screaming."
"I jumped out of my seat, man," Pinkel said. "I was pretty excited when I heard the screaming."
During his playing days at Springfield Hillcrest, the 6-6, 225-pound DGB with 4.4 speed in the 40, amassed a national prep record of 6,353 yards and 75 touchdowns, closing it out with 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 scores as a senior.
That year, he was named the National Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated, Parade Magazine and USA Today, and was also a two-time first-team USA Today All-American.
"He's a special player," Pinkel said.
Here came DGB's much-anticipated freshman season --- this guy was Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Calvin Johnson all wrapped up into one.
Good luck stopping this guy. Go ahead and make his Hall of Fame bust, would ya?
But this season wasn't anything to jump out of your seat about --- 28 catches, 411 total yards (receiving and rushing), five touchdowns. By comparison, fellow SEC freshman Johnny Manziel accounted for 5,116 total yards and 47 touchdowns.
Then again, it's Johnny Football and not Dorial Football.
In October, 2012, DGB was arrested and charged with marijuana possession while sitting in a car with two other players in a parking lot just south of Faurot Field. DGB pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of trespassing.
He was fined $200 plus court costs and suspended from the team.
There was no sophomore jinx for DGB, since he really didn't do much his freshman season.
He had a break-out game at Kentucky, catching seven passes for 100 yards and a school-record four touchdown passes in Missouri's 48-17 win. Kentucky's shortish defenders had no chance.
"How about that? Obviously, the guy can make a lot of plays," Pinkel said. "Dorial probably had his best week of practice last week and I think it showed."
He stood out like LeBron James on a grade school playground.
"He has such a huge, huge physical advantage over most corners, you can take advantage of it," Pinkel said. "That's what we did today."
DGB finished the season with a team-high 59 catches, 883 receiving yards and 12 touchdown.
Green-Beckham was arrested in Springfield on suspicion of drug activity and was booked into the Greene County jail. Police found a pound of marijuana in the car he was riding in.
He was originally arrested for possession of a controlled substance, but was later released without charges. He was once again suspended from the team.
After this incident, Green-Beckham tweeted this, typos included:
"People judge before knowing what happen. Let's not judge me for what happen and don't saying anything to me to try to bring me down."
Green-Beckham is implicated in a criminal assault investigation and burglary, and is Indefinitely suspended from the team once again.
The police report said:
"The burglary occurred on 04/06/2014 at 0236 hours. It happened when the suspect Dorial Green-Beckham unlawfully entered the residence and assaulted the victim."
The victim decided not to press charges. More from the police report:
"She no longer wanted to press charges against Green-Beckham for the burglary. I asked why she no longer wanted to go ahead with prosecution and she stated 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.
"Stated she was afraid of being harassed and having her property damaged just because she was the victim. Stated she did not want to deal with the mental stress of the whole ordeal it was already making her physically sick to think about it."
Friday afternoon, Green-Beckham was dismissed from the football team.
"This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind," Pinkel said. "Dorial's priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs."
Said Athletic Director Mike Alden:
"We have a high standard of conduct for our student-athletes. We have determined that this was a necessary step for our football team, athletic department, the University, and our community."
The victim was apparently swayed not to press charges by Green-Beckham's girlfriend. Here is a text message sent to the victim by the girlfriend, once again from the police report:
''I want to talk to you about what's going to happen. I know you're so upset and I am too. Dorial was wrong in every way and you have every right to be furious. 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.
"I agree that something should be done- whether that's paying for what he did with money or a different way. I really just want all of us to move past this and not have this happen again by completely being done with him. I can't do this anymore.
"Now he's hurting my friends not just me. I really am so sorry you're in this position and I never meant for this to happen."
Pinkel's move was the right one, but for all the wrong reasons. Missouri football will be just fine without Green-Beckham, but how will Green-Beckham be without Missouri football?
Here's hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.