Missouri dismissed wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham from the team Friday afternoon. The decision was that of head coach Gary Pinkell along with Mike Alden, director of athletics at Missouri. The announcement came on the same day we learned Green-Beckham would be entering counseling and a day after it was reported he would not be facing charges in connection to a burglary investigation. It also comes just days after Missouri initially suspended Green-Beckham.
“This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind,” said Pinkel. “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,” he said.
“We have a high standard of conduct for our student-athletes,” said Alden. “Though we provide the resources and mentoring to all of our student-athletes, we are also responsible to the community at large and to the ideals and values of the University of Missouri. We have determined that this was a necessary step for our football team, athletic department, the University and our community,” he said.
Given what we know and have read at this point, the decision to cut ties with Green-Beckham is without much doubt the right decision. Already suspended twice in his collegiate career, Green-Beckham appears to have lacked the maturity you would expect over time by putting himself in positions that could lead to unfortunate circumstances. This is not to say Green-Beckham is destined for a life of mischief, but it has become pretty clear that he needs to wake up and get a grip on some things in his life. Here’s hoping that can happen because it is not too late to turn things around.
What does this mean for his college football future? Well, it’s not over just yet. He still has two years of eligibility to work with, but how many schools are going to actively pursue him at this point? There is no doubt he has the talent to step in and contribute wherever he happens to end up. He has too much talent, size and ability to not be a factor in an offense and last year he started to really step into his potential as he helped Missouri clinch the SEC East and play for the SEC Championship. Perhaps a stop at an FCS program could be in the mix as well. Sometimes a step down in level of competition can help a player reassess priorities and cut down on distractions.
As for Missouri, a shallow receiver position just got a lot more shallow. The Tigers were already losing two starting wide receivers this year (Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington) and now they lose Green-Beckham. Those three players were Missouri’s leading receivers in 2013. This is going to put a lot of pressure on Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt to step into bigger shoes than initially expected. Darius White could have a more likely path to being a starter now and the competition for the fourth spot will be heating up.
Missouri’s spring game is set for next Saturday, April 19. The Tigers open the 2014 season on August 30 at home against South Dakota State.