Well that was a quick turnaround — as well as something that will certainly foster more than its share of controversy.
Earlier this morning it was reported that former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was visiting the Oklahoma campus and meeting with various members of the OU coaching staff. Just a few hours later, the Sooners sent out a press release confirming that the talented but troubled receiver has been added to its football roster.
Green-Beckham will be forced to sit out the 2014 season (possibly, maybe) but would have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2015. He could also opt to make himself available for the 2015 NFL draft and never play a down for the Sooners.
Regardless, head coach Bob Stoops welcomed the player into the locker room with open arms — and a warning that a spot on his football team is a privilege.
“We are pleased to welcome Dorial to the University of Oklahoma, where he is excited to continue his education and resume his playing career,” Stoops said. “Dorial understands the privilege and responsibilities of representing the Oklahoma Football program. He is a talented young man who is eager to get to work with the rest of our team in the classroom and on the field.”
Green-Beckham had been a productive but troublesome player since joining the Tigers in 2012 as the top-ranked player in the country in that class. Following three twos — arrests, suspensions and police investigations — in less than two years, Mizzou announced that it was cutting its losses and dismissing the talented receiver.
The last incident that triggered his dismissal in mid-April was by far the most disturbing as an incident report stemming from the report of a first-degree burglary stated that Green-Beckham pushed one woman down a several steps during a domestic incident.
The victims, one of whom was quoted in the incident report as stating she was afraid of the media and community backlash, declined to press charges, forcing the police to drop the case.
Just as he did after that incident, Green-Beckham in a statement expressed disappointment over his past actions and thanked Stoops and OU for a second (or third or fourth depending on your point of view) chance to get his career back on track.
“I appreciate this opportunity from Coach Stoops and the University of Oklahoma,” said Green-Beckham. “There are people here who will help me build a strong foundation. I’ve disappointed myself and others in the past. I know that I have a lot of work to do and I’m ready to get started. OU is a great program and I feel privileged to be part of it. The university has made the expectations clear and I want to live up to them and be a positive part of the campus and team. I also want to thank Coach Gary Pinkel and the University of Missouri.”
This is certainly the ultimate risk-reward scenario for the OU football program.
The reward would be getting a player with loads of proven talent (59-883-12 last season) who could end up being a top-ten pick in the NFL. The risk, obviously, is getting a player who reverts back to his old ways and embarrasses the program and the university.
Hopefully Stoops & Company know what they’re doing as there is a whole hell of a lot riding on this decision.