Missouri football announced it dismissed sophomore receiver Dorial Green-Beckham from the team Friday after a string of off-the-field incidents.
Columbia Police namedGreen-Beckham, the team’s leading receiver in 2013, a suspect in the investigation of an April 6 burglary.
Coach Gary Pinkel and Athletic Director Mike Alden made the decision to cut Green-Beckham from the team, an athletic department release said.
“This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind,” Pinkel said in the release. “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.”
Green-Beckham has been arrested twice for marijuana-related incidents during his time at Missouri. His previous arrests played a large role in the decision to release him, Alden said in a press conference Friday.
“When you have a series of incidents over the course of the last year and a half in regards to one individual, certainly those aren’t things you can disregard,” he said. “I think you got to add all of those together.”
Alden also said Friday that Green-Beckham would not be able to rejoin the team.
“We have a high standard of conduct for our student athletes,” Alden said in the release. “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.”
The team announced its indefinite suspension of Green-Beckham on April 7. Authorities said Thursday that Green-Beckham would not be arrested for his most recent incident.
That same day, Alden said he met with Missouri’s coaching staff from every sport to discuss disciplinary issues within the department over the last two months.
Between Monday and Friday, Alden said he met with every student athlete in team settings to reiterate that message.
“The vast majority of our kids and our students and our staff are doing great things,” he said. “The logo never comes off. It never ever comes off. No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, you’re always going to be representing Mizzou.”
Alden spoke with Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin earlier in the week about the escalating number of police encounters with student athletes.
Loftin told reporters in Rolla, where the UM Board of Curators met Friday, that those incidents have been disproportionately common.
“We agree the frequency has been higher than we've seen,” he said.
In the last two months, four players and a graduate assistant have been arrested. The Curators also released Friday a report on the suicide of former diver Sasha Menu Courey who killed herself in June of 2011 after being raped by a football player, according to ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
“I think he understands the nature of our business and of higher education that these things are going to occur,” Alden said of Loftin. “But I think he shares in our frustration that the frequency and the number that have occurred over the last couple of months are certainly unacceptable.”
According to police documents released Thursday, prosecutors were prepared to press charges against Green-Beckham, but Columbia Police rescinded his arrest warrant at the victims’ request.
He was accused of pushing one victim down “at least four stairs” and slamming another with the front door of her apartment as he forced his way into the unit, according to the documents.
Text messages from Green-Beckham’s girlfriend in subsequent days asked the victims to refrain from pursuing charges. One message read, “football is really all he has going for him and pressing charges would ruin it for him completely.”
Green-Beckham came to Columbia as one of the most celebrated recruits in program history. The Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.) Hornet was the consensus No. 1 receiver in the class of 2012, and Rivals.com ranked him as the top recruit of any position.
Green-Beckham shined in his sophomore year, leading the Tigers in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He caught 59 balls for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. Missouri will now be without its top three receiving threats from last season.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 225-pound pass-catcher is not eligible to play in the NFL this upcoming season.