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When It Comes To SEC Basketball Jobs, Who’s Better And Who’s Best?

Who's_Better,_Who's_BestMick Cronin.  Ben Howland.  Chris Mack, Tim Miles, Archie Miller and Richard Pitino.  For kicks throw in Gregg Marshall and Shaka Smart, too.

With the Tennessee and Missouri jobs now open, you can expect to see many of the same names on the Vols’ and Tigers’ lists of coaching candidates.  From our list above, expect Howland to push for both UT and MU, though there’s a reason he’s been passed over by Cal, Marquette, Boston College, Wake Forest, Tulsa, and everyone else he’s contacted this year.  (The reason is likely this.)  On the other side of the coin, Marshall and Smart aren’t likely to being going anywhere at all this offseason (but never say never).

That means Mike Alden and Dave Hart will be probably end up chasing those other guys.  Aware of that fact, Cronin, Mack, Miles, Miller and Pitino will be able to drive up their salary demands accordingly.  Two jobs in the same league open?  It’s called “leverage” and coaching candidates will have it.

But which school has the better basketball program?  Which school is the bigger draw?

Below we present you with our ranking of all 14 SEC jobs as if they were open right now.  We based our selections on facility size (fan support), stability (recent coaching turnover), and overall tradition (titles and tourneys).  We’re not just throwing out names from the top of our heads here.

 

Coaches would kill for…

1.  Kentucky

All-time:  53 NCAA tourneys, 16 Final Fours, 8 national titles

Last 15 years:  6 Conference titles, 3 head coaches

Arena capacity:  23,000

Upside:  Limitless

UK is clearly the top job in the SEC and it’s in a group of just four or five schools that could make a legitimate claim to being the best gig in the country.  We believe it probably is tops in America, but schools like North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, UCLA and Indiana are all terrific.

 

2.  Florida

All-time:  17 NCAA tourneys, 5 Final Fours, 2 national titles

Last 15 years:  6 Conference titles, 1 head coach

Arena capacity:  11,548

Upside:  Limitless

Billy Donovan has turned Florida into a national power.  Now, whoever replaces him will have to survive in a legend’s shadow.  But the UF athletic department has been incredibly stable, the recruiting base is large, and most of the heat in Gainesville gets directed toward the football coach.  If Donovan left today, Jeremy Foley could have a new coach by suppertime.

 

Coaches would be interested in…

3.  Arkansas

All-time:  29 NCAA tourneys, 6 Final Fours, 1 national title

Last 15 years:  0 Conference titles, 4 head coaches

Arena capacity:  19,200

Upside:  Strong

Arkansas eeks into the three-slot based mainly on what’s happened there in the past, just not in the recent past.  The arena is top-notch and the recruiting base includes Memphis (if a coach can tap into it).  When the Hogs are rolling, a good case can be made that UA becomes a basketball school.  It’s also hard to ignore a place with six Final Fours and a national crown.  There’s plenty of upside in Fayetteville and Jeff Long has shown that he’ll spend whatever cash the Razorbacks’ biggest boosters will give him.

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Potential Good News For College Hoops: NBA Pushing To Increase Age Limit

scaleThe one-and-done rule in today’s college game is a by-product of the National Basketball Association.  When the wave of high school players entering the league directly from high school started to produce more misses than hits, the league slapped an age limit on draft-eligible players.  The limit was a small one, meaning kids would now to college for a year… and then jump to the pros.

But that could be changing.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is advancing the idea of changing the age limit from one year after high school graduation to three.  Such a requirement be near identical to the current NFL rule.

Whenever this issue has come up in the past the biggest obstacle has been the NBA Players Association (college coaches and NBA franchises are in favor of a such a move).  But according to Sean Deveney of SportingNews.com, the league may be willing to give the union something it’s been wanting — a better paying Developmental League — in exchange for the increased age limit.

If the Players Association will acquiesce on the age requirement, it would vastly improve the collegiate game.  Imagine stars spending three years on a campus instead of one.  Consider the growth in chemistry players would enjoy if they played together for three years instead of one.  Think of the improved play we would see as experienced veterans replaced raw freshmen as the key cogs on many teams.

That would be good, good and good.

The biggest change on the collegiate level would come in the SEC at John Calipari’s Kentucky Kindergarten.  UK has proven that bringing in a fresh batch of newbies every season can work.  But, for example, how much better would the 2011-12 Wildcats have become over time if Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, and Marquis Teague could have played together for another year or two?  Instead of one national crown, that group might have gone back-to-back or better.

An increased NBA age limit would be wonderful news for the college game.  Rosters would have to be rebuilt with less frequency, making the game much less transient.  Players would actually get three years worth of coaching, teaching.  And Kentucky fans wouldn’t have to learn the names of an entirely new team every season.

Cross your fingers, folks, and hope as we do that the NBA’s commish can push this one through.

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Report: Missouri’s Haith In Play For Tulsa Job

The coaching carousel seems to have gotten a late start in the SEC.  Well past the Final Four and the usual hiring time, one SEC job is already open and a new report suggests another one could be on the verge of opening soon.

Just days after Cuonzo Martin made a surprising move from Tennessee to California, Missouri’s Frank Haith is being mentioned in connection with another job.  And unlike Martin’s move, it wouldn’t be from one major conference school to another:

 

parrish tweet

 

 

According to Parrish, Haith is a “serious candidate” for the Tulsa job Danny Manning recently left for Wake Forest’s.  One source said, “Frank is looking for a way out of Missouri.”

Should Haith escape Columbia for Tulsa, we may soon see which SEC gig is most attractive to coaches — Missouri or Tennessee.

Update: Source tells ESPN.com that Haith has agreed to become the next coach at Tulsa.

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SEC Schools Have Averaged 3 Changes In Power Positions Over The Past Decade

gfx-by-the-numbersThe University of Tennessee is currently searching for it’s third new basketball coach since 2005.  The Vols have also had to hire three new football coaches in that span.  We believe such turnover suggests to outsiders that there’s some serious dysfunction that exists inside the walls at Tennessee.  And we stated yesterday that Vol AD Dave Hart will likely have to answer questions about all of UT’s changes when discussing his hoops job with candidates.

Our observations didn’t sit too well with a few folks who let us know about it via email.  The general gist was this: Every SEC school has turnover.

We decided to take a look and see just how much turnover should be considered normal.

We tallied the number of football coaches, basketball coaches and athletic directors for each athletic department from 2005 to now.  While we list them below, we did not count interim hires as changes (because a full-time hire could have been made instead).  We also did not count retirees who were allowed to walk away after lengthy careers (though they are listed below, as well).  We were simply looking for changes necessitated by firings, force-outs and unexpected departures.

Below is our look at stability in the power positions across the SEC:

 

Alabama 2005-2014

Football:  Mike Shula, Nick Saban

Basketball:  Mark Gottfried, Anthony Grant

AD:  Mal Moore (died), Bill Battle

Total:  3 changes… We count this as 2 changes as Moore left office due to illness shortly before his death.

 

Arkansas 2005-2014

Football:  Houston Nutt, Bobby Petrino, John L. Smith (Interim), Bret Bielema

Basketball:  Stan Heath, John Pelphrey, Mike Anderson

AD:  Frank Broyles (retired), Jeff Long

Total:  6 changes… We count this as 4 as Broyles retired and Smith was hired purely as an interim.

 

Auburn 2005-2014

Football:  Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik, Gus Malzahn

Basketball:  Jeff Lebo, Tony Barbee, Bruce Pearl

AD:  Jay Jacobs

Total:  4 changes

 

Florida 2005-2014

Football:  Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp

Basketball:  Billy Donovan

AD:  Jeremy Foley

Total:  1 change

 

Georgia 2005-2014

Football:  Mark Richt

Basketball:  Dennis Felton, Mark Fox

AD:  Damon Evans, Greg McGarity

Total:  2 changes

 

Kentucky 2005-2014

Football:  Rich Brooks (retired), Joker Phillips, Mark Stoops

Basketball:  Tubby Smith, Billy Gillispie, John Calipari

AD:  Mitch Barnhart

Total:  4 changes… We count 3 as Rich Brooks actually retired from coaching.

 

LSU 2005-2014

Football:  Les Miles

Basketball:  John Brady, Trent Johnson, Johnny Jones

AD:  Skip Bertman, Joe Alleva

Total:  3 changes

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Slive: “I Live In Tomorrow” As Decision Over Scheduling Looms

the-future-signIn a speech at the University of Massachusetts’ Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management last night, Mike Slive described where his focus must be stay:

 

“Today doesn’t exist for me.  I live in tomorrow.  That’s my job.  Today is the job of 35 other people (on the SEC’s staff).  I am the trustee of a sacred public trust, and if you live in the South, you know exactly what I mean.”

 

ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel points out that Slive also stated last night that the SEC will decide at next month’s spring meetings whether or not the league will switch from an eight-game football schedule to a nine-game conference schedule (beginning in 2016).

Slive’s views on today/tomorrow are shared by any good executive, any good leader.  During the recent conference expansion craze, for example, Slive had to consider how additions to the league would look in 20 years or 50 years, not just in the now.  The same goes for everything else the man does.  What are the long-term ramifications of his league’s actions?

At MrSEC.com, we’ve stated on many occasions that we believe the league should move to a nine-game  conference slate.  Such a move would protect the league’s oldest rivalries (Alabama/Tennessee, Auburn/Georgia, Mississippi/Vanderbilt).  And when it comes to protecting “a sacred public trust,” there is nothing more important than the traditions built over the past 81 years.

A nine-game schedule would also allow SEC schools to see teams from the opposite division more often.  Call us crazy, but if you’re in a conference you should probably see everyone else as often as you can.

But switching to a nine-game schedule would also aid the league moving into the future.

We suspect that the new College Football Playoff selection committee will do it’s best to pick teams from four different conferences when it comes selecting who’ll compete for the national crown.  Strength of schedule will be a important factor in that process.  The Big Ten has announced nine-game schedules beginning in 2016.  The Pac-12 is going with nine-games as is the Big 12.  ACC commissioner John Swofford said in February that there is “considerable support” for a move to nine games in his league as well.  If the SEC doesn’t move to nine, it will be the only major conference playing eight league games… which means SEC teams will likely play one more cupcake than teams in other conferences will.  If the selection panel is looking for reasons to keep a second SEC team out of its playoff, you can bet the cupcake issue would loom large.

Nick Saban is just about the only SEC football coach to date to publicly push for a nine-game schedule.  Most other coaches want to avoid anything that might make getting to six wins and a bowl game more difficult.  But if Slive’s job is to think about the future, he needs to convince a few more coaches, ADs and presidents that a move to nine games is most likely the wisest step.

Unfortunately, we don’t believe that will happen.

That means come 2016 and 2017, the SEC will be at a disadvantage in the new playoff landscape that was created immediately after the BCS featured an SEC versus SEC title game.  The playoff now exists to prevent such SEC dominance.  A decision to become the only eight-game league in the Big Five conferences would only aid those who are looking to “spread the wealth” among all the leagues.

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Martin’s Departure Has Tennessee Chasing Its Tail Again

dog-chasing-tailHere they go again.

In Knoxville today, the private planes are being warmed up for yet another coaching search (assuming the boosters allow Tennessee’s AD to use them).  Cuonzo Martin’s surprise decision to go to California with an aching in his heart creates the umpteenth coaching vacancy at UT in the past decade.  Here’s the school’s scorecard in case you haven’t been able to keep track of all the major comings and goings in the Volunteers’ men’s athletic department:

 

* Basketball coach Buzz Peterson — fired March 2005

* Baseball coach Rod Delmonico — fired June 2007

* Football coach Phillip Fulmer — fired November 2008

* Football coach Lane Kiffin — left January 2010

* Basketball coach Bruce Pearl — fired over NCAA violations March 2011

* Baseball coach Todd Raleigh — fired May 2011

* Athletic Director Mike Hamilton — resigned June 2011

* Football coach Derek Dooley — fired November 2012

 

Now I don’t know about you, but that makes Tennessee’s athletic department look rather dysfunctional to most unaffiliated observers.  For example, here’s some of the national reaction that average fans — and coaches — are seeing across the country today:

 

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com:  ”Can you imagine?  You sign two five-star prospects in a span of three recruiting classes, win more games each year than the year before, mold a roster into a team that will soon make the Sweet 16, and, still, literally tens of thousands of your own fans have taken time out of their day to sign a petition requesting that you be replaced by the man you replaced three years earlier.”

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports:  ”There is something in the water, or the soil — or, most likely, the people — at the University of Tennessee that has turned the athletic department into a transient, turmoil-ridden place.  Basketball coach Cuonzo Martin’s departure Tuesday is just the latest huh? moment for a school that has been buffeted by them in recent years.”

Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com:  ”In a lot of places (Martin’s results) would merit a raise, a contract extension and a heap of praise.  At Tennessee, it got Martin a heap of nothing.  Impatient fans and lukewarm administrators never really gave Martin a chance — Indiana fans, with a bit more basketball dog in the fight, gave Tom Cream a longer leash.  And now the Vols got what they stopped wanting and exactly what they deserved.”

 

The first response to the national media from many Vol fans will be one big “who cares?” and a string of “yeah, buts.”  But no school’s boosters and fans really want the sporting world to view their athletic department as some sort of sad joke.  And unfortunately for the faithful on Rocky Top that is exactly how Tennessee is being viewed today.

Martin was never embraced in Knoxville for one reason — he wasn’t Pearl.  As soon as the NCAA came down on Pearl he became to some UT fans their own “Lost Cause” hero, a combination of generals Albert Sydney Johnston and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.  ”Why we’d have never succumbed to Yankee tyranny had our beloved leader in gray not been taken from us so grievously!”

Martin got better each year in three at Missouri State.  He got better each year in three at Tennessee, too.  He wound up three points shy of the Elite Eight last month.  But he still wasn’t Pearl on or off the court.  So the anti-Martin crowd simply changed their battle cry as the Vols advanced in the tournament — “Yes, but we underachieved in the regular season.”  So when a team lives up to preseason expectations at tourney time the regular season becomes the problem?  Kentucky fans are bonkers about hoops, but I don’t see anyone running John Calipari away for following the very same path Martin went down last season — disappointing regular season, expectations basically met in the postseason.

The greatest irony is that Martin was the only guy to do any real winning on Rocky Top in years.  Pearl won an SEC basketball title in 2008.  That is the only championship for Tennessee in a major men’s sport in 15 years.  Vol baseball last took home the SEC trophy in 1995.  Vol football hasn’t been crowned league champ since 1998.

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The SEC’s Most “Taxed” Fans

tax-dayHappy Tax Day, everyone.  From one coast to the other millions of Americans are making out checks to the government and dropping them in the mail today.  We know of no one who’s actually happy about that, of course.

In honor of this day of “giving,” we at MrSEC.com wanted to determine which SEC programs’ fans have been “taxed” the most.  What do we mean by that?  Losing is taxing on a fanbase.  It wears a person down as their favorite school suffers defeat after defeat.  So we’ve endeavored to determine which fans in the SEC have been dealing with defeats and losses most often.

As we normally do we’ll look only at the two revenue sports (which happen to be the two sports we cover around here).  Also, we’ll limit our time frame to two seasons since Missouri and Texas A&M have now completed two football and two men’s basketball seasons as SEC members.

Below you’ll find the number of losses piled up by each program.  There are four categories: Overall Football Losses, Overall Basketball Losses, SEC Football Losses and SEC Basketball Losses.  If you’re wondering why conference losses would be, in effect, counted twice each, it’s because losses to one’s neighbors are typically more painful.

 

Most Losses Since 2012

  School   Football Overall   Football SEC   Basketball Overall   Basketball SEC   Total Losses
  Miss. State   11   9   41   29   90
  Auburn   11   9   39   27   86
  S. Carolina   4   4   38   27   73
  Arkansas   17   14   25   16   72
  Kentucky   20   16   23   12   71
  Vanderbilt   8   7   33   21   69
  Tennessee   14   13   26   14   67
  Texas A&M   6   6   31   21   64
  Ole Miss   11   10   23   15   59
  Georgia   7   4   31   15   57
  LSU   6   5   26   18   55
  Missouri   9   7   23   16   55
  Alabama   3   2   32   17   54
  Florida   10   6   11   4   31

 

In terms of walking away from a stadium or arena in defeat, no SEC fanbase has had to that more than the folks down in Starkville over the last two years.  Bulldog backers have endured 90 losses (double-counting the SEC losses) since 2012.  The onus is on Dan Mullen and Rick Ray — especially Ray — to start recording a few more victories in the seasons ahead.

Surprisingly, Auburn fans wound up in second place on the list.  If not for the remarkable turnaround captained by Gus Malzahn last football season, Tiger fans might’ve ended up atop our “most taxed” list.  AU has lost 50 games overall and another 36 when the in-conference losses are added in again.

On the other end of the spectrum, fans of Ole Miss, Georgia, LSU, Missouri and Alabama have yet to experience the heartache of even 60 losses.  And Florida — with only 31 losses — has the “least taxed” fanbase in the SEC.  Gator fans have only had to deal with 21 losses over the last two years; ten more losses are added to their tally when their SEC losses are counted twice.

As you’ve probably figured out, the numbers are skewed in the direction of basketball.  More games played, more potential losses.  So be it.  This is simply a fun — depending on where your school ranks on the list — exercise to see which fans have a right to be the grumpiest in the Southeastern Conference.  That honor goes to MSU with Auburn, South Carolina, Arkansas and Kentucky falling next in line.  Bulldog fans are the most taxed in the SEC.  But here’s guessing they needed no chart to tell them so.

 

 

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Calipari Reveals “Tweak” That Aided Kentucky In The Big Dance

gfx-they-said-it4As Kentucky limped into the SEC Tournament with 9 losses and a 1-3 record in its last four regular-season games, John Calipari announced that he’d come up with a “tweak” that would hopefully change the Wildcats’ fortunes in the postseason.  The tweak worked, apparently.  The Cats made it to the SEC tourney final before losing to Florida by a point.  Then they won five straight in the NCAA Tournament before falling to UConn in the national title game.

So what was Calipari’s tweak?  UK’s coach appeared on “CBS This Morning” earlier today.  As CollegeBasketballTalk.com points out, he there revealed that the tweak was actually a simple request that point guard Andrew Harrison pass the ball more and shoot the ball less:

 

“I showed Andrew (tapes of NBA point guard Deron Williams).  I said, ‘Look at this, let’s watch.  Would you have passed or shot?’  He said, ‘I would have shot.’  Would you have or shot?  Well, Deron was throwing ball to everybody.

And so, I said, ‘Monday, you will not shoot one basketball.  You will pass, we’re gonna run these plays, you will create shots.  We will chart; we’re not telling our team.’  He comes in, he has 26 assists attempts, 21 assists that Monday, I’m mad the whole practice because it changed our team.  Why didn’t I do it earlier?  And then I apologized to him.  I apologized to the team and I said, ‘I screwed this up, make me look good now.’”

 

Now, you know very well that a light bulb didn’t suddenly come on for Calipari.  You can be sure he tried to coax Harrison into shooting less and passing more for much of the season, not just at tourney time.  But Calipari’s handling of the situation — the tournaments give us a new chance to adjust, we’ve struggled not because of you but because of me, etc — was perfect.

Kentucky’s coach is often saddled with the tag of “great recruiter, so-so coach.”  Heck, as his team kept dropping regular-season games this year there were plenty of Big Blue fans who made that exact point on messageboards, Twitter and talk radio.  But the reality is Calipari has been able to make deep tournament runs with freshmen-heavy teams in four of his five seasons in Lexington.  That takes a good coach.  And whether it’s on the court or playing a few mind games with his team off it, Calipari has proven himself to be a very, very good coach.

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The SEC Needs A Rule Protecting Schools From Having To Face Players Booted For Disciplinary Reasons

gfx-honest-opinionLast week, Gary Pinkel surprised a lot of people — including many Missouri fans — when he jettisoned talented receiver Dorial Green-Beckham following his third run-in with police.  While the victims of the latest investigation into the player refused to file charges, the evidence suggests Green-Beckham busted into a girl’s apartment, shoved a friend of his girlfriend and then grabbed and dragged his girlfriend by her neck.

He earned his dismissal and Pinkel deserves credit for protecting the integrity of his football program.  Pinkel does not deserve to face Green-Beckham if/when the player purifies himself with a year of junior college ball.

We’ve stated this view on previous occasions.  Just last season, for example, Georgia had to face two starting quarterbacks  with the SEC who had previously been drummed out of Athens.  In the spring of 2009, freshman Zach Mettenberger was arrested.  Reportedly, he then failed to come clean to Mark Richt about the circumstances of that arrest and he was dismissed.  After a year at Butler Community College he transferred to LSU and almost knocked off Richt’s Bulldogs in a 44-41 thriller last year.

Later in the season, Georgia did fall 43-38 to an Auburn team quarterbacked by Nick Marshall.  Marshall began his career as a defensive back at Georgia, but he was dismissed from the team as a freshman in 2011 due to an unspecified violation of team rules.  After a year at Garden City Community College, Marshall landed on the Plains and came within one drive of leading the Tigers to a BCS championship.

Richt being Richt, he said he was happy that both young men had turned things around and found success.  We don’t doubt that.  But was it right for Richt to have to play two players that he had chosen to discipline?  The fact that a booted player could come back to haunt a coach down the road might lead some to hang onto players a bit longer even if they’ve proven to be bad news.

That wasn’t the case with Richt, nor was it the case with Pinkel.  They — among others over the years — made tough decisions to sever football ties with athletes who’d let down them and their programs.  One lost a game to a player he’d dismissed and might lose another to him this fall.  The other could wind up seeing Green-Beckham lined up against him somewhere down the road.  That’s not right.

The SEC should discuss at its spring meetings the possibility of taking a unified stance against players disciplined by member institutions.  There are 125 FBS programs in the nation.  Anyone thinking, “What about second chances?,” needs to remember that.  If a player errs so seriously or so repeatedly as to cost himself an opportunity to play for 14 of those schools — those in the Southeastern Conference — he would still have 111 other top-flight schools as possible landing spots.

(Interestingly, such a rule could have applied to an SEC coach in recent weeks.  If such a rule were put in place with regards to players — it won’t be — there would likely need to be a similar rule regarding coaches who lose their SEC job due to NCAA violations.  Now, would any school respect its leaguemates enough to back away from a proven coach who just happened to run afoul of the NCAA law at a conference rival?  No way.  Much to Bruce Pearl’s happiness.)

If maintaining discipline and protecting the reputations of schools is important in the SEC, the league’s schools should work in concert to make discipline a priority.  If a player is banished from one school for disciplinary reasons he should be barred from landing at one of that school’s conference rivals.  No coach doing the right thing should himself be punished for doing that very thing.

Pinkel has said that he wants what’s best for Green-Beckham.  ”I love that kid.  I want him to get some help.  He can go to another place and get a fresh start and he can still achieve his goals.”  Those are admirable comments from Mizzou’s coach.  But the Tigers shouldn’t be punished because they chose to punish a player who had brought negative attention to the University of Missouri and Tiger football.

We at MrSEC.com hope Green-Beckham does turn his life around and does earn himself a second-chance at another school.  But that school should be one of 111 schools across America.  That school should not be in the Southeastern Conference.

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Missouri’s Pinkel Stuck In Coaching Hell Thanks To WR Green-Beckham

Gary PinkelDorial Green-Beckham won’t be charged in connection with a Sunday morning break-in at the apartment of three women.

So much for the good news.

The talented Missouri wideout has been as big a problem off the field as he has been a star on it during his brief tenure in Columbia.  Tall, rangy and fast on the gridiron.  Mercurial, troublesome and a lightning rod for trouble in everyday life.

Green-Beckham is currently suspended indefinitely from the Mizzou team.  It’s the third time he’s been suspended.  The first two came after a pair of drug-related arrests in 2012 and then in January.  This one, while no charges are going to be filed, is more troubling.

The women involved in this week’s break-in have decided not to press charges.  One of the women claimed she was “afraid of being harassed and having her property damaged just because she was the victim.”  Victim of what, you say?  The incident report says Green-Beckham forced his way into an apartment, shoved a female causing her to “fall down at least four stairs.  A text from his girlfriend after the fact suggested she had also been grabbed and dragged by the neck.

The female who was shoved had a bruised and swollen wrist when police arrived.

The girlfriend refused to help police, claiming that she hadn’t seen or heard anything.  But her text messages to another victim — begging her not to press charges — were entered into evidence.  One said:

 

“I agree that something should be done — whether that’s paying for what he did with money or a different way … Now he’s hurting my friends not just me.  I really am so sorry you’re in this position and I never meant for this to happen.”

 

The girlfriend told her friend that filing charges would ruin Green-Beckham’s career and “football is really all he has going for him.”

Green-Beckham is already on his third chance.  Physical violence — towards women, no less — is a step up in criminal behavior, whether the women were too scared to press charges or not.  Considering the bad press the Missouri football program received in January with relation to an alleged sexual assault on an MU swimmer, there’s little reason to allow Green-Beckham to continue to represent the University in its highest-profile sport.

Ah, but that “little reason” to keep him around is his physical ability.  Green-Beckham figures to be a big part of the Tigers’ push for another East Division title and bowl game this fall.  Which leaves Gary Pinkel — the man Green-Beckham keeps ignoring — in one hell of a fix.

Green-Beckham was one of the top players in the country when he signed with Pinkel’s program.  Fans love his on-field talents.  If he’s still on the team this fall you can bet he’ll be cheered on adoringly by 60,000+ screaming Tiger fans.  This is college football after all.

And while some might support a decision by Pinkel to rid his squad of a player who is clearly a troubled young man, let Mizzou lose a game or two this fall and the head coach would receive zero credit for doing what’s right.  That’s not how the game works.  There are no free passes, even when they’re deserved.

But what’s right is to boot Green-Beckham.  He’s had numerous chances to clean himself up.  Instead, he continues to hurt himself, the University of Missouri’s reputation, Pinkel’s program and — most importantly — at least two women this past Sunday morning.  One of them decided not to press charges because she “was afraid of the media and community backlash.”  Pinkel needs to say “to hell with the community backlash” and do what’s right by the school.  If Green-Beckham were a walk-on he’d have never been given chances two and three.  There would certainly be no discussion about him possibly receiving a fourth chance.

But because he gave his star receiver a third chance, Pinkel now sits in Coaching Hell.  Damned if he does boot one of his best players; damned if he doesn’t boot a player who appears to be a Class A thug.

Update: DGB dismissed from the team.

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