By R.B. Fallstrom
AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS – Missouri decided enough was enough.
Star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, once heralded as the No. 1 recruit in the nation, has been kicked off the team.
The move was announced Friday, a day after police in Columbia, Mo., said no charges would be filed in a suspected burglary involving the player because of reluctant witnesses fearing retaliation.
“Dorial will no longer be a football player at Mizzou, will no longer be a student-athlete at Mizzou,” athletic director Mike Alden said. “Our focus for him would be that he does the things necessary for him to either learn from these things that have taken place or to be able to grow.”
Green-Beckham had been suspended indefinitely from the team, ranked No. 5 after a 12-win season last year, on Monday for unspecified violation of team rules. He met with Alden and coach Gary Pinkel that day.
Pinkel said Green-Beckham needs to be focused on getting help, and that the school would do all it could. The decision was made by Pinkel in conjunction with Alden.
“This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind,” Pinkel said. “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.”
Even though there wasn’t an arrest in the latest incident, Alden said it wasn’t a difficult decision.
“When you take a look at actions of individuals, whether they result in perhaps charges or not, that still doesn’t mean they are appropriate actions,” Alden said.
Green-Beckham isn’t eligible for the NFL draft until after his junior season. He’d have to sit out a year if he transfers.
In a statement given to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch through his father, John Beckman, Green-Beckham accepted “responsibility for my conduct and my mistakes.”
“Don’t blame my girlfriend or her friends for anything,” the statement continued. “I am not looking for sympathy. I thank those who have given me concern. I have been young and dumb. I want to be better. During my suspension I’m entering counseling. With help, I know I can be stronger emotionally and spiritually.”
Beckham coached his son at Springfield Hillcrest High and adopted Green-Beckham and his younger brother, Darnell, who signed a letter of intent to attend Missouri in February.
The dismissal is the latest black eye for Missouri sports.
“It’s been a challenging week,” Alden said to reporters. “If you think about it, it’s been a challenging couple months.
“It’s unacceptable to be able to see that type of behavior.”
Alden said he met with all of the coaches in all sports for a half-hour Monday, “reminding them what our core values are, what our expectations are for all of us, how we’re all accountable for the actions of our students and our staff, and how it’s critically important that every time we see something, we hear something, we own it.”
Alden said he’s also met with “every single student-athlete at Mizzou over the last four days.”
“It never, ever comes off no matter where you are and what you’re doing,” Alden said. “You’re always going to be representing Mizzou.”
Louisville transfer Zach Price was kicked off the basketball team after being arrested twice last week on four counts of suspicion of assault. Another Missouri player, Earnest Ross, filed a petition in Boone County Circuit Court earlier this month seeking a protection order against Price.
An independent report released Friday said the school failed to follow parts of the federal law that governs sexual harassment on campus when handling the case of a former swimmer’s suicide.
The report concluded school administrators should have investigated 20-year-old Sasha Menu Courey’s 2011 death after her parents raised questions about the events leading to her suicide. Menu Courey alleged she was sexually assaulted during her freshman year by as many as three football players, 16 months before she died.
Alden said he hadn’t read the report but listened to the news conference.
“From what I heard, there are probably going to be a number of things that all of us can be able to take from that, to be able to learn and be able to grow,” Alden said.
Columbia police said Thursday they wouldn’t proceed with a case that began early Sunday when an 18-year-old Missouri student said Green-Beckham forced open her apartment door at 2:30 a.m. while trying to see his girlfriend, a friend of the victim.
The woman said Green-Beckham pushed her down at least four stairs. Another roommate told police the 225-pound athlete pushed the first woman with two hands to the chest. Later that night, the two told a detective they didn’t want to press charges.
A police report said Green-Beckham’s girlfriend sent 16 text messages to the woman asking her to reconsider pressing charges. The responding police officer had already applied for a warrant for Green-Beckham’s arrest on a felony charge of first-degree burglary.
“Dorial was wrong in every way and you have every right to be furious,” one message reads. “I’m not sticking up for him but football really is all he has going for him and pressing charges would just ruin it for him completely.”
“If you didn’t want to press charges just say we all had a lot to drink and what not everything is fine,” Green-Beckham’s girlfriend later wrote.
Police were also investigating the incident for possible domestic abuse after the athlete’s girlfriend said in one of the text messages to her injured friend that he dragged her from the apartment by the neck. The woman later told a domestic violence investigator that she had been drinking and didn’t remember sending that message. The police report deemed her “extremely uncooperative.”
In January, Green-Beckham was arrested along with two men after police in Springfield, the player’s hometown, found a pound of marijuana in their car. No criminal charges have been filed in that case.
Green-Beckham was also charged in October 2012 with marijuana possession in Columbia and later pleaded guilty to second-degree trespassing. He and two teammates were reportedly smoking pot in a campus parking lot near Memorial Stadium.
The 6-foot-6 Green-Beckham led Missouri with 59 receptions as a sophomore last season and scored 12 touchdowns, including a school single-game record of four scores against Kentucky. Missouri must also replace a pair of seniors, Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington, who combined for 108 receptions and 13 scores. The top returning wide receiver is senior Bud Sasser, who had 26 catches and one touchdown.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Wednesday that Price was arrested twice the day after Ross sought the protection order. In the arrest, Ross was accused of ramming his car into another vehicle and later having another encounter with the couple in the car.
Police said Price hit his male roommate in the face then pushed the woman to the ground.