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Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops is taking a big chance on Dorial Green-Beckham

by Berry Tramel Published: July 22, 2014

DALLAS — Timing is everything, someone once said. Probably a watchmaker. But in the curious case of Dorial Green-Beckham, timing is a wash.

Bob Stoops is sticking out his neck for Green-Beckham. Stoops has brought a big-time player with a checkered past to OU, and you know how I feel. I wouldn’t want my blood pressure to go up every time the phone rings.

Green-Beckham found trouble at Missouri, twice for marijuana-related offenses and once for allegedly pushing a coed down a flight of stairs. If DGB finds more weed trouble in Norman, everyone will shake their head and blame the guy for being a goofball. If DGB has more domestic trouble, it won’t be just Green-Beckham’s butt in a sling. It will be Stoops’s. In part because of the timing.

OU has spent the last few months investigating a Title IX sexual misconduct allegation against linebacker Frank Shannon. The district attorney declined to prosecute, but all schools walk softly under Title IX, since the U.S. Department of Education began probing Florida State for its handling of the Jameis Winston case. The Heisman Trophy quarterback was accused of rape. Under Title IX, a university can lose its federal funding if it fosters a culture of sexual harassment, discrimination, misconduct or assault.

In the wake of the Shannon investigation, OU leadership had to wonder about the wisdom of bringing on Green-Beckham.

“Everything gives you pause, one way or the other, in any of these situations,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “They’re never entered into lightly, regardless of one situation or the other. They’re totally different in scope and everything that’s happened. One incident doesn’t affect the other. In my eyes, they’re two individuals and you try and deal with all situations and circumstances individually.”

Of course, timing also helped DGB’s sojourn to Norman. Upset OSU in Stillwater and stun Alabama, and your rope gets a lot more slack.

Look at what OU’s done since winning the Sugar Bowl. Pulled the trigger on a long-anticipated capital improvement campaign that could cost $400 million. Unveiled alternate uniforms that thrill players and rile fans.

Easier to ask donors for big wads of cash and fans to swallow 21st-century uniforms when you’re coming off a gridiron Mardi Gras than when you’ve just lost a Cotton Bowl 41-13.

Coaches at places like Oklahoma go through changing status. Mostly, what’s-he-done-for-us-lately, followed by he-can-do-no-wrong. Stoops is in one of the latter phases now, so it’s In Bob We Trust.

And Stoops has proven that his second chances often turn out not just fine, but spectacularly. Dusty Dvoracek, Ryan Broyles, Lynn McGruder. Others; some we don’t even know about.

Stoops said he’s taken a flier on DGB because of a relationship formed during recruiting three years ago, when Green-Beckham chose home-state Missouri but gave both OU and OSU a long look. Well, Stoops also is taking a flier because DGB is 6-foot-6, runs like a deer and has all-pro talent. Literally.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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