Wednesday September 17th, 2014

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wrote an op-ed in USA Today blasting Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and the school's decision to accept Missouri transfer Dorial Green-Beckham.

The Tigers dismissed Green-Beckham in April after he was implicated in an assault investigation into an April altercation involving Green-Beckham, his girlfriend and two other women. The altercation was one of several incidents involving Green-Beckham at Missouri.

Oklahoma announced Green-Beckham's transfer in July. The Sooners filed a waiver request for Green-Beckham to be eligible this season, but it was denied. Green-Beckham caught 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. The Springfield, Mo., native was the top-ranked prospect in the class of 2012.

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione recently spoke to The Inside Read about Green-Beckham's transfer in light of multiple high-profile domestic violence cases involving NFL players. “If someone presented a case like that now, I think you would be fair to say that he probably wouldn’t be at Oklahoma,” Castiglione said.

McCaskill, who is a former prosecutor who specialized in sex-related crimes, wrote that she was "stunned" to see Stoops had tied for the highest percentage of votes in a poll asking college coaches which coach they would want their sons to play for.

From the op-ed:

Nevertheless, Mizzou said goodbye to DGB and dismissed him from the team a few days later. I have been a fan since I was a child growing up in Columbia, and even worked in college as a tutor and recruiting hostess for the football program. I have followed Mizzou for my entire life through ups and downs, victories and defeats. My university is no different than many others in that its record is not perfect in terms of dealing with misconduct by its athletes. But I don't think I have ever been prouder of my team and university than the day coach Gary Pinkel and athletic director Mike Alden announced the decision to kick DGB off the team.

I watched to see whether another program would pick him up. Unfortunately, I didn't have to wait long. Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners welcomed him, and even petitioned the NCAA to let him play this season. With a straight face they cited the "run-off" rule that allows eligibility for a player who leaves a squad for reasons beyond his control. Thankfully, that request was denied, but he will be eligible to play next year, if he is not drafted by the NFL before then. None of this is particularly surprising. But for Stoops to get the most votes from his fellow coaches as the coach they wanted to influence their sons?

Unfortunately, that says it all. It is time for real leaders in the world of big-time sports to do a soul search on character. Every decision they make reflects on them in ways that a won/loss record never will.

Another Oklahoma player, linebacker Frank Shannon, has been suspended for the season after a school investigation of sexual assault allegations against him. Highly-touted freshman running back Joe Mixon is also suspended for the season after pleading not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

- Chris Johnson

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