WHAT OTHERS SAY: Green-Beckham cut good for Missouri football

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 5:18 p.m. CDT

The drama surrounding Dorial Green-Beckham — the Hillcrest High School football standout who was dropped by the Missouri team Friday — seems to have a life of its own.

Green-Beckham has been in the news most recently because of a Columbia incident involving violence against a young woman.

In January, he was in the news because he and two other young men were stopped in a car carrying a pound of marijuana.

In October 2012, he and two teammates were arrested by the MU Police Department after they were found possessing 35 grams of marijuana.

In the first arrest, he was able to plead down to trespassing and paid a $200 fine. In the second, one of the other men in the car took responsibility for the marijuana and no charges were filed against Green-Beckham.

In the most recent case, Columbia police announced they will not file charges because there is no "probable cause." But the police report reveals some disturbing information.

Picture an upset boyfriend looking for his girlfriend. There's pushing and shoving. Someone gets hurt. Afterward, the victim decides it is better for everyone involved to drop the whole thing, and police decide that, without victim and witness cooperation, no charges can be filed.

The victim, according to the report, said she was "afraid of the media and community backlash" and worried about that the arrest would jeopardize Green-Beckham's NFL career.

Letting a victim who feels overwhelmed and frightened decide whether charges should be filed is too much pressure. Police ought to be able to determine if a crime has been committed using evidence and statements from both the victim and witnesses, regardless of their cooperation.

Head coach Gary Pinkel made the right choice to drop the troubled player, regardless of what the police do.

Pinkel, in a news release from the Missouri athletics department, said the decision was "made with the best interests of all involved in mind." He said Green-Beckham should focus on "getting the help he needs."

We, too, hope this young man with so much potential will learn to control his behavior so he can go on to have a bright future.

Director of Athletics Mike Alden said the decision was also made with the university and the team in mind: "We have a high standard of conduct for our student-athletes. 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 Columbia police need to have the same level of interest in the community. The police report reveals plenty of cause for an arrest. The young woman had bruises, and both she and Green-Beckham's girlfriend, who was there at the time, acknowledged the assault. The victim also provided evidence of coercion by the girlfriend to drop any complaint against the player.

Green-Beckham is a talented football player, and he is likely to find a way into the NFL if those who love and care about him can help him onto the right path.

So far, he has not had to face any real legal consequences for his actions, so it is important that the Missouri athletics department take action.

It appears his coaches understood that if he had been allowed to avoid any consequences this time, it could have sent him the message that he is above the law.

Missouri made sure that didn't happen.

Copyright Springfield News-Leader. Distributed by the Associated Press.

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