The story I'm reading in print indicates former Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham is going to be eligible right away at Oklahoma.
The NCAA guidelines in front of me say no such thing should be possible. Not even close.
I've got the 19-page -- deep breath, here -- Division I Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief Information Standards, Guidelines and Directives. On page 15, is where DGB's situation/predicament/future is defined.
In applying for the waiver, Oklahoma apparently is invoking a little-known clause that allows players to transfer immediately “for reasons outside [their] control …”
Even the NCAA calls it the “run off” rule, meant to be applied if a team oversigns in recruiting. The interpretation protects a kid from being pressured out of a program or being “cut” for performance. Nowhere in the guidelines does it say anything about a stud receiver -- after three legal run-ins -- being eligible right away.
I was compelled again to write about what has become one of the celebrated issues of the offseason. More than one colleague has asked a) how Green-Beckham can be eligible immediately and b) why OU was pursuing the issue so rabidly.
I'll explain a) below. For now, the answer to b) is easy: Call me cynical but I don't think Bob Stoops would be going to the wall for Missouri's backup Y receiver.
This is a chance to enhance Oklahoma competitively. This enhances OU's chances of winning the Big 12. It's a reward for a kid who got booted from his previous school for being an (alleged) knucklehead.
To portray it as anything else than burrowing deep into a rules loophole is misguided.
What it is not: the usual academic year in residence (sitting out) for such knuckleheads who are booted. OU has to know that. It has to know there is every possibility DGB would never make it through that year in residence. He's eligible for the draft after this season.
The Oklahoman reported recently that OU feels confident about the receiver's chances after being dismissed from Mizzou four months ago. But someone, somewhere is misapplying a rule to get a star receiver on the field right way.
To buy this logic, someone somewhere is equating screwing up with being run off.
One man's student-athlete welfare is another man's total bastardization of the rules.
Let's be clear, DGB was not run off when he was dismissed from Missouri in April. For you --or the NCAA -- to believe that you'd have to dismiss the receiver being the subject of burglary investigation. You'd have to ignore a disturbing police report alleging Green-Beckham assaulted a woman. No charges were filed.
In that sense, the receiver can transfer anywhere he wants. He just can't do it at Missouri because of those legal run-ins. Anything else is a twisting of the rules.
Hey, it's happened before, unfortunately.
It's also a bad look for Oklahoma and Stoops.
Let's be clearer: Perhaps the best player in last year's SEC title game wasn't run off. He ran out of chances at Missouri. Green-Beckham had been arrested twice for incidents involving marijuana. Shortly after Green-Beckham's dismissal, AD Mike Alden spoke to reporters about a rash of off-field issues involving Missouri athletes. Those issues included DGB's situation.
“It's unacceptable to be able to see that type of behavior,” he said.
Unacceptable. Alden mentioned the word three other times in a meeting with reporters.
Now the NCAA is being asked to rule Green-Beckham eligible immediately because the situation is “outside the control of the student-athlete.”
Unacceptable implies DGB was responsible for his actions. Give the kid credit for standing up.
“I've been young and dumb,” he said in a statement shortly after an initial suspension for the third incident.
"When you have a series of incidents over the course of the last year and a half with regards to one individual, certainly those aren't things you can disregard," Alden told reporters in April. "I think you've got to add all of those together."
Sure, players deserve second chances. But this situation implies that elite players really deserve second chances. Oh, and by the way it would be a fourth chance for Green-Beckham.
In a perfect world, I have no problem with Missouri supporting the kid's move to Oklahoma. Gary Pinkel signed off on it. DGB was in good academic standing. No sense undercutting a kid with a future ahead of him.
Just don't waste my time telling me immediate eligibility is in the best interests of the kid. It's in the best interests of OU. Our parents teach us there are consequences to our actions. What are the consequences of an alleged assault against a woman? (Again, no charges were filed.)
If this were happening three or four years ago, well, it wouldn't happen. Missouri and Oklahoma were in the same conference. DGB would be going anywhere but Oklahoma.
I'll say it for DGB. Thank you, conference realignment.
Oh yeah, almost forgot. OU has to hurry. Such waivers are about to become a thing of the past. Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the membership has determined immediate transfers will not be allowed for undergraduates (aside from mitigating circumstances). Instead, there would be a one-year extension of eligibility.
In other words, if this were happening a year from now -- it probably wouldn't. DGB would have to sit out a year, although he'd have an extra year of eligibility on the back end.
I'm not going to tell you what OU would do then. I am telling you -- in the present -- the rules don't apply to Oklahoma and DGB if the NCAA interprets those rules in favor of Oklahoma and DGB.