What comes of Oklahoma’s decision to add Dorial Green-Beckham remains to be seen.
Could be a stroke of genius. Could be a disaster.
But here’s what we do know about the Sooners welcoming the troubled receiver: this is a risk.
Green-Beckham was kicked off the football team at Missouri earlier this year after his third run-in with police in 19 months. The first two times, he was arrested on marijuana-related complaints. The third time didn’t involve an arrest but was the most troubling episode.
According to a Columbia police report, he forced his way into an apartment on the morning of April 6 looking for his girlfriend, then using both hands, he shoved another woman down some stairs. She fell and was injured.
Ultimately, she didn’t want to press charges because, as she told police, “she was afraid of the media and community backlash.”
Green-Beckham’s girlfriend also texted the woman extensively after the incident, records show.
“I’m not sticking up for him,” the police report quoted the girlfriend as texting, “but football is really all he has going for him and pressing charges would ruin it for him completely. 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.”
Read that last paragraph again.
“Football is really all he has going for him.”
“Now he’s hurting my friends, not just me.”
This is a risk.
Now, it’s entirely possible that Green-Beckham will never have another black mark to his name. Maybe he will keep his nose clean. Maybe he will avoid the police blotter. Maybe he will make Bob Stoops, Joe Castiglione and David Boren look like geniuses.
I love stories about people overcoming adversity as much as anyone, so I’d love if that was Green-Beckham’s storyline.
But I’m not staking my reputation on him.
Stoops, Castiglione and Boren are. These men have not only resurrected a great football power but also built a program with a pretty darn good reputation. Talk to people around the country, and they say that the Sooners seem to be doing things right.
But when the Sooners announced that Green-Beckham would join the fold, there was lots of head scratching. Most folks felt he was such damaged goods that he’d have to go to a lower division simply to continue his college career.
Instead, he lands at one of college football’s premier programs.
Frankly, I don’t get it.
Yes, I understand that the Sooners are thin at receiver and that if the NCAA grants a waiver allowing Green-Beckham to play this season, it would be a huge boost. The dude is a 6-foot-6, 225-pound prototype.
But what if the NCAA doesn’t grant that waiver? What if Green-Beckham can’t play next season?
This guy doesn’t seem to do well with idle time.
Pete Moris, the Sooners’ PR man, tweeted shortly after the announcement that Green-Beckham will have a great support system and mentors with OU football.
First of all, I’m guessing Green-Beckham had a pretty good support system and mentors when he was at Missouri, too. I have come to know several of the folks on the staff there. Offensive coordinator Josh Henson. Recruiting graduate assistant Cooper Bassett. Strength and conditioning coach Scott Bird. All of those guys are native Oklahomans. All of them are good people. Here’s betting there are a bunch more like them in Columbia.
Green-Beckham still couldn’t keep it together.
The support and the mentoring given by OU football hasn’t been magical either. Yes, there are several success stories of second chances that have worked out famously. Dusty Dvoracek. Lynn McGruder. Ryan Broyles. Jaz Reynolds. Trey Franks.
But there are also players with whom the knuckleheaded force is strong. Josh Jarboe. Rhett Bomar. Gary Simon. Trey Metoyer. Damien Williams.
And Green-Beckham has shown a strong tendency toward knuckleheadedness.
I know a big chunk of the Sooner Nation is excited about Green-Beckham’s potential because I heard from a lot of you in the hours after his addition to the team was made official.
Don’t people deserve second chances?
Sure, but this isn’t a second chance. It’s a fourth chance. And Stoops and Co. don’t often put up with that many missteps.
Just put him on a short leash.
What, he wasn’t on a short one at Missouri?
Continued drug testing and rehabilitation are to be commended. But this is a guy who had to know he was running out of chances and he still kept getting into trouble.
He gets in trouble, you cut him loose and say, “We tried to help.”
That works if he gets arrested for weed. But what if it’s something worse?
Remember those text messages from Green-Beckham’s girlfriend in that Columbia police report less than three months ago? Even though she later said she walked out with him, she was quoted as saying in her texts that Green-Beckham “drug me out by my neck and hurt me.”
The impact that Green-Beckham could have on the field is great, but so is the impact off the field.
Will the reward outweigh the risk?
We can’t possibly know. Only one thing is sure.
This is a risk.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.