‘Disappointed’ Pinkel addresses Green-Beckham suspension

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In a surprising break from his long-standing policy, Gary Pinkel has decided to publicly address a disciplinary measure taken against one of his Missouri football players.

As you no doubt know by now, star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was indefinitely suspended by the Mizzou football program Monday, officially for violating unspecified team rules and unofficially as he’s caught up in yet another police investigation. It’s the second time the receiver has been suspended, and the third time his name has been attached to a legal “situation.”

Following Tuesday’s practice, Green-Beckham’s head coach didn’t even attempt to hide his disappointment at the continued antics of one of his players.

“Obviously, I have 126 players and I’m responsible for every one of them. I take that responsibility, just like I have with the three kids that I raised. Obviously, I’m disappointed. I’m frustrated. We run this program with integrity. We teach our players to be accountable, responsible people. When they make mistakes — they’re going to make some mistakes — but when they’re serious mistakes, obviously that stings. It stings me. It stings the players. It stings our fans. My job is to get that fixed. That’s what I intend to do.”

Those stark, straight-to-the-point comments came immediately after Pinkel stated he’s “been doing this for 14 years… [and] I’ve never discussed disciplinary issues in 14 years.”

The latest off-field misstep for one of the most talented receivers in the country is also one of the most confusing. While Green-Beckham is part of a Columbia Police Department probe into an alleged burglary, it’s unclear what role, if any, he played. From the Kansas City Star, reporting from what appears to be a very generic police report released Tuesday:

The report does not name any person, so it is not known whether Green-Beckham is a suspect, victim or witness. No one has been charged in the case, and Green-Beckham has not been arrested. Police are expected to release a complete incident report in the next few days.

The report says a first-degree burglary was reported at 2:36 a.m. Sunday at the Brookside Townhomes, 310 Old Plank Road.

Residents told the Columbia Missourian that Green-Beckham was involved in an incident there around that time. One resident said he saw a woman hit a white Dodge Charger, driven by Green-Beckham, as it left the parking lot.

Green-Beckham led the Tigers in receptions (59) and receiving touchdowns (12) in 2013, a year after he being rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2012.  The off-field issues, though, continue to crop up at an alarming rate.

In January of this year, he was arrested on felony drug charges, although it was subsequently reported that court documents showed there was no evidence the player was selling marijuana.  That incident remains under investigation and the charges unresolved.  In October of 2012, Green-Beckham was one of three Mizzou football players arrested for pot possession.

Thorpe Award semifinalist Jeremy McDuffie to miss rest of Duke’s season

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Duke will be forced to navigate its way through the rest of the year, however long that is, without one of its top players on the defensive side of the ball.

The football program announced Tuesday that Jeremy McDuffie suffered an injury to his right knee in this past Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech.  The junior safety will undergo surgery next Monday to repair unspecified damaged ligaments and miss what’s left of the Blue Devils’ season.

At 5-6, Duke needs to beat Wake Forest this Saturday to become bowl-eligible.  The Blue Devils missed out on a bowl game last season after going to four straight for the first time in the program’s history.

After playing in 24 games the previous two seasons, including two starts, McDuffie had started all 11 games in 2017.  His three interceptions are tied for second on the Blue Devils, while his eight quarterback hits are tied for tops on the team.

Earlier this season, McDuffie was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive back.

FCS player who punched coach charged with felony assault

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Normally in-game violence doesn’t result in off-field legal ramifications, but this is (rightly) one of the rare exceptions.

Earlier this month, Tennessee State defensive end Latrelle Lee was not only dismissed from the FCS program but expelled from the university after he punched Tigers strength & conditioning coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head on the sideline during a game.  Greenstone serves as TSU’s “get-back” coach for players, charged with keeping them from creeping toward the field of play and, in the process, keeping the team from drawing a flag.

The unprovoked assault was caught on video and quickly went viral.

As a result of that incident, Lee, who had been a criminal justice major prior to his expulsion, has been arrested on one count of felony assault, The Tennessean is reporting.  Lee was subsequently released Monday night after a $7,500 bond was posted, and has an initial court date scheduled for Dec. 8; he had been scheduled to graduate Dec. 9.

According to the arrest affidavit, “[t]he victim has subsequently been having medical difficulties as a result [of] the altercation.”

“We, of course, do not condone any act of violence within our department and are very disturbed by the action of one of our students,” a statement from athletic director Teresa Phillips released shortly after the Nov. 11 incident began. “We are committed to supporting the coach who was personally affected and our concern now is with him.”

Thus far, there has been no public comment from the football program or the university on this latest development, nor have they updated the status of the coach who was the victim of the assault.

Bovada pulls Heisman odds as Baker Mayfield’s ‘too big of a favorite’

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While Baker Mayfield‘s crotch-grabbing histrionics last weekend will cost him this weekend, the same can’t be said for his Heisman hopes — at least when it comes to wagering establishments.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold opened the 2017 season as Bovada.lv‘s favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, only to be overtaken after Week 1 by Louisville quarterback and reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson — he was the prohibitive favorite in mid-September… only to see Jackson leapfrogged by the Oklahoma quarterback two weeks later… only to see Mayfield overtaken by Penn State running back Saquon Barkley — he was the overwhelming favorite in late October… only for Barkley to be overtaken by Mayfield the first week of November. Mayfield has been a steadily increasing favorite since, with last week’s odds featuring just him (as the overwhelming favorite at 1/20), Barkley and Love.

This week’s odds? There are none. From Bovada:

Heisman odds are currently off the board as Baker Mayfield is too big of a favorite. He was 1/20 last week and would be even bigger this week.

Other oddsmakers followed suit, as noted by ESPN.com:

MGM had Mayfield listed at -250 as of last Monday, when the book took the odds off the board in compliance with Nevada Gaming Control regulations. The Westgate SuperBook closed Mayfield as even a bigger favorite at -2,000 on Sunday.

Those odds were pulled, however, as the NGC requires all betting on the Heisman to cease on Nov.19, per ESPN. Bovada doesn’t fall under the auspices of the NGC, so they could’ve technically continued laying odds on Heisman race.

The assistant manager at Westgate confirmed to ESPN that the book is looking at a loss if (when?) Mayfield wins the Heisman. It’s likely that other books could very well be facing the same predicament.

Emotional Baker Mayfield discusses being stripped of captaincy for last game, Senior Day, in Norman

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Much-needed, hard lesson learned, maybe?

While he was subjected to a lack-of-class moment by Kansas in the pregame and then a couple of questionable hits during this past Saturday’s game, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield showed his backside by very graphically grabbing his front in a heated response.  While he truly apologized in the postgame aftermath, OU announced Monday that the Heisman Trophy front-runner will not start this weekend’s regular-season finale against West Virginia.

Not only that, Mayfield was stripped of his captaincy for that finale.  On Senior Day, his last-ever game in Norman no less.

That latter aspect of the punishment proved to be almost too much for Mayfield to deal with, with the quarterback becoming visibly emotional when discussing with the media his lost captaincy Monday night.

“Playing at OU was something that I always dreamed of,” Mayfield said. “Not starting, it is what it is.

“But not being a team captain is so much more. It would be hard if it were a regular game or not, but it being my last one here ever, it means a lot more. It’s going to be tough, because Saturday was going to be — without all of this — an emotional one. It’s going to be hard to handle, but … it’s going to be hard.”

OU has already secured one spot in the Big 12 championship game, most likely against TCU.  The Sooners are also ranked fourth in the most recent College Football Playoff Top 25 and will earn one of the four semifinal slots if they win their next two games.