ST. LOUIS — Missouri 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.
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.
Coach Gary 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 athletic director Mike 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.”
Alden said the school has a “high standard of conduct for our student-athletes” and that Missouri was “responsible to the community at large.”
“We have determined that this was a necessary step for our football team, athletic department, the university and our community,” 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, Beckham-Green 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.
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.