SEC: Dorial Green-Beckham

Another week, another off-field incident. That is the way it has been this offseason in the SEC, and this past week was no different.

Texas A&M suspended cornerback Victor Davis after he was arrested and charged with shoplifting, and defensive end Gavin Stansbury, who was arrested in April, left the team for personal reasons.

At Georgia, Mark Richt dismissed yet another player a day after defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was arrested for aggravated assault.

These incidents are just the latest in what has been a troubling offseason for the SEC. With media days behind us and fall camps about to begin, we want to know which team's offseason issues will present the greatest on-field questions for this season.

SportsNation

Which SEC team's offseason issues will present the greatest on-field questions this coming season?

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    12%
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    13%
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    42%
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    8%
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    25%

Discuss (Total votes: 14,133)

In Tuscaloosa, the media's pick to win the SEC has had its fair share of off-field incidents. Dillon Lee and Jarran Reed were both arrested for driving under the influence, Altee Tenpenny was caught with marijuana, and Kenyan Drake was arrested for disobeying a police officer. None of the players involved has been dismissed, but this is becoming both a problem and a distraction for Alabama.

Across the state, Auburn is still trying to figure out what to do with quarterback Nick Marshall. The potential Heisman Trophy contender was given a citation for possession of marijuana this month, but will he miss any time as punishment? To make matters worse, teammate Jonathon Mincy was arrested for the same thing, possession of marijuana, just two weeks prior.

The school that has been in the news the most this offseason is Georgia. Four players were arrested in March for theft by deception. Two of those four, Taylor and Tray Matthews, were later dismissed for separate incidents. A third, Uriah LeMay, opted to transfer. Back in February, safety Josh Harvey-Clemons also was dismissed from the program following multiple violations of team rules.

At Missouri, it was three strikes and you're out for star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. The sophomore was arrested for the second time on drug-related charges in January, and after being involved in an altercation with his girlfriend in April, he was dismissed from the team. Green-Beckham has since joined Oklahoma.

Lastly, there is Texas A&M, which has not seen any decline in off-field distractions since quarterback Johnny Manziel left. Quarterback Kenny Hill was arrested in March for public intoxication. Two months later, head coach Kevin Sumlin dismissed a pair of key defenders -- Darian Claiborne and Isaiah Golden -- after they were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery. Then the news broke this week with Stansbury’s departure and the suspension of Davis.
From time to time, our SEC reporters will give their takes on a burning question facing the league. They will both have strong opinions, but not necessarily the same view. We will let you decide which reporter is right.

With the start of the 2014 season a little more than a month away, we are still trying to figure out who will be in position to capture the league title this fall. But there are a few teams we are still trying to get a good read on.

Today’s Take Two topic: What is the toughest SEC team to get a handle on in 2014 -- Missouri or LSU?

Take 1: Edward Aschoff

[+] EnlargeMaty Mauk
AP Photo/L.G. PattersonMaty Mauk returns, but Missouri has several question marks on both sides of the ball.
To me, the Missouri Tigers are the toughest team to figure out in 2014. After last season's special run through the SEC, there is plenty of confidence in Columbia, Missouri, but there is also a lot of uncertainty in some areas on this team. I could see this group of Tigers continuing to ride the momentum they created last season, but I could also see Mizzou take a nosedive this fall.

I do like that Mizzou has a confident, talented quarterback returning in Maty Mauk. He went 3-1 as a starter last season in place of an injured James Franklin. Mauk threw for more than 1,000 yards and had 11 touchdowns to just one interception. He lost almost nine pounds this summer because of a viral infection, but he thinks it has made him lighter, faster and quicker. He has a stacked backfield to work with and an experienced offensive line in front of him. The defense will again be anchored by a stout defensive line, starting with potential All-SEC defensive end Markus Golden.

But there are plenty of questions. Who is Mauk going to throw to? How will reshuffling affect the offensive line? Are there true playmakers at linebacker? How is an inexperienced secondary going to hold up this season? Who's going to replace all those proven leaders?

Receivers Bud Sasser, Jimmie Hunt and Darius White have good field experience, but one of them is going to have to stand out as the guy for Mauk to rely on. Are any of them ready? Can any of them be dynamic enough playmakers to force defenses to adjust? Not having someone like Dorial Green-Beckham could really hurt this offense.

Two starters are gone at linebacker, and this unit dealt with injuries this spring. Not great. Mizzou’s secondary was one of the SEC’s worst last season, and three starters are gone. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? There is depth in the secondary, but not a lot of proven guys, and that concerns me.

The biggest thing might be finding new vocal leaders. Who can carry this team like Franklin, Michael Sam and L'Damian Washington did last season? Is Mauk up to the task? Golden? I don’t think we really know what the locker room scene is like for this team.

Take 2: Greg Ostendorf

Let’s start with the fact that LSU lost nine players to the NFL draft this past year, more than any other team in college football. The team’s starting quarterback, its top two running backs, top two wide receivers and its top offensive lineman have all moved on to the next level. Time to rebuild, right? Not in Baton Rouge. Not under Les Miles.

Since Miles took over in 2005, LSU has had 60 players taken in the NFL draft, yet the Tigers have managed to win at least 10 games in seven of Miles’ nine seasons as head coach.

So don’t expect this season’s LSU team to fall off completely, but with so many unknowns and a stacked SEC West, the Tigers could finish anywhere between first to sixth in their own division. They are talented enough to reach the inaugural College Football Playoff, but they could just as easily end up in the Music City Bowl.

Where this team goes will be dependent on its incoming recruiting class. Between Brandon Harris, Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupre, LSU could have three true freshman starting on offense by the time the season opener rolls around.

Fournette might be the closest thing to a sure thing. The 6-foot-1, 224-pound running back was the No. 1 recruit in the country and has already drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson. He was one of the top stories at SEC media days, and he has yet to record a carry. But can he handle the pressure and the rigors of a college football season? Can Harris and Dupre handle it? All three were playing high school football in Louisiana less than a year ago.

As for the defense, there are even more question marks. Linebacker Kwon Alexander and cornerback Tre'Davious White are good players, potentially All-SEC, but what is the status of Jalen Mills after his arrest this offseason? Who will fill the big shoes left by Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson on the defensive line? Who are the leaders going to be?

This might be the toughest coaching job yet for Miles, but don’t be surprised if LSU is in the playoff conversation when it travels to Texas A&M on Thanksgiving.
HOOVER, Ala. -- SEC media days have been more about who isn’t here as opposed to who is here, and it was no different Wednesday with former Missouri Tigers wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham dominating the conversation during the Tigers’ session.

Green-Beckham was dismissed from the team in April and recently landed at Oklahoma, where he will be eligible to play in 2015.

[+] EnlargeDorial Green-Beckham
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsThe Missouri Tigers believe they have capable replacements for receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was dismissed from the program in April.
“I want things to work well for Dorial,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “That’s important to me, and hopefully they will. I think that’s a good place and hopefully he learns some lessons. He’s overall a good kid, and he has a chance to turn this whole thing into a positive thing for him personally.”

It’s obviously a difficult blow for the Tigers. Green-Beckham was the top wide receiver and No. 3 overall prospect in ESPN’s 2012 recruiting rankings. He led the team last season with 59 receptions and finished with 883 yards and 12 touchdowns. However, Missouri has to move on without him, and nobody knows that better than sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk.

“Obviously, we were close,” Mauk said. “He called me his first day (at Oklahoma), said he was moved in and ready to get started, and I wished him luck. He’s going to do good down there. We’ll stay in contact. But at Missouri, we’re not worried about it. We’ve moved on. Our guys are ready. They have accepted their roles.”

The Tigers will be without their top three wide receivers from a year ago, losing L'Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas in addition to Green-Beckham, but that doesn’t mean it is not a position of strength heading into the fall.

Seniors Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt each had more than 20 receptions a season ago, and the addition of former Texas wide receiver Darius White, a former ESPN 150 recruit who sat out last season after transferring, could provide another weapon on the outside.

“I look at Darius White and I see a top recruit in the nation who transferred from Texas, who I know like the back of my hand and who I can throw it to and expect him to catch it every time,” Mauk said. “Bud Sasser fills in at the X, somebody that I’ve been playing with that I love. He runs tremendous routes. And then Jimmie Hunt, an inside guy that maybe last year he couldn’t do what he can do right now. He’s quick and he’s fast.”

Mauk added that he has never seen someone as fast or as quick as redshirt freshman J'Mon Moore, and he made sure to mention the trio of incoming freshmen -- DeSean Blair, Nate Brown and Lawrence Lee -- who have all impressed since they arrived on campus.

It was clear Wednesday that there are no hard feelings between Missouri and Green-Beckham, and though the Tigers will certainly miss his production on the field, they are more than pleased with the options they still have available in the passing game.
We continue our most important game" series, which looks at the most important game for each SEC team in 2014. These are the games that will have the biggest impact on the league race or hold special meaning for one of the teams involved. Today, we take a look at Missouri.

Most important game: Oct. 11 vs Georgia

Key players: Is anybody else still wondering how Missouri reached the SEC championship game last season? People doubted the Tigers all year, and they proved us all wrong time and time again. That team lost a lot of talent, but the cupboard isn’t bare heading into this season.

Quarterback Maty Mauk will become the full-time starter and if last fall was any indication, he has a chance to be one of the top signal-callers in the league. In his four starts, all against SEC teams, he threw for 910 yards, 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He’ll have to be at the top of his game against Georgia, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that the Dawgs lost three starters in their secondary this offseason. To be fair, Missouri will be without its top three pass-catchers from a year ago, including sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham who was dismissed from the team in April. It will be up to Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt to pick up the slack.

It’s more likely that the Tigers will lean on its running back tandem this season. Henry Josey is gone, but Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy each rushed for over 600 yards and over 6.0 yards per carry a year ago. Expect them both to put up big numbers early in the season, but how will they fare once the SEC slate begins? The Georgia game will be a major test for them and for the offensive line.

The real question mark for Missouri isn’t the offense. It’s the defense. The Tigers reloaded at defensive end, replacing Michael Sam and Kony Ealy with Markus Golden and Shane Ray, but will that be enough to slow down Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall and the rest of Georgia’s running backs? The key will be safety Braylon Webb and his ability to come up and play the run. He was second on the team in tackles last season.

Why it matters: The Georgia game could be the difference between Missouri making it back to Atlanta as SEC East champs or sneaking into a bowl game with six wins. That’s right. The schedule actually sets up nicely for the Tigers to make another run at the East. They open the season with four winnable games before heading to South Carolina for the SEC opener. A loss to the Gamecocks would hurt, but it’s still early. However, if Missouri loses to South Carolina and Georgia in back-to-back games, then the wheels start to fall apart. A win against Georgia could get the Tigers back on track and give them confidence before another road test at Florida. If they can win two of their first three conference games against the upper echelon teams in the East, they have a chance to make another run and contend for the title.

SEC's lunch links

June, 19, 2014
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Plenty of news or nuggets to digest today around the SEC. Have at it:

SEC's lunch links

June, 12, 2014
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The World Cup begins today. Will you be watching? If so, make sure you take in today’s lunch links before Brazil and Croatia kick off. If not, still check out the lunch links and see what’s going on around the SEC.
  • Former Alabama wide receiver Tyrone Prothro is the perfect O’Bannon witness to show the NCAA’s economic model is broken.
  • Between Cameron Artis-Payne, Corey Grant and Peyton Barber, there isn’t a clear pecking order at running back, but that’s how Auburn likes it.
  • Recruits react to Joker Phillips’ resignation at Florida on Wednesday.
  • Georgia’s secondary: How it looks after the Tray Matthews’ dismissal and a possible position change since the end of spring practice.
  • Not so fast: Jalen Mills’ attorney says the LSU cornerback wasn’t the one who struck the victim in the incident last month that led to Tuesday’s arrest.
  • Missouri wide receiver signee Darnell Green, the younger brother of former star Dorial Green-Beckham, plans to delay his enrollment until January.
  • South Carolina’s new-look defensive line remains a work in progress.

Offseason exodus in the SEC

June, 4, 2014
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It's that time of year that coaches dread, when unfortunately there tends to be as much activity off the field as on the field.

On Tuesday, we saw three projected defensive starters in the league -- Georgia safety Tray Matthews and Texas A&M linebacker Darian Claiborne and defensive tackle Isaiah Golden -- shown the proverbial door.

[+] EnlargeDarian Claiborne
Thomas Campbell/USA TODAY SportsTexas A&M's Darian Claiborne is one of three several projected SEC starters who were dismissed by their schools on Tuesday.
In the case of Claiborne and Golden, they were already on double-secret probation and ran out of chances after being arrested and charged with robbing three victims at gunpoint on May 23 after the three men agreed to purchase marijuana from Claiborne and Golden. Claiborne had already been arrested twice and Golden once in the last seven months.

Much will be made of the Aggies, especially as bad as they were on defense a year ago, being in no position to lose young talent the caliber of Claiborne and Golden. But Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is smart enough to know when enough is enough, and when you've got guys on your team who already have previous brushes with the law and are accused of robbing people at gunpoint (in a drug deal, no less), it's past time to cut your losses.

At Georgia, coach Mark Richt had obviously had enough with Matthews, who started six games a year ago in an injury-plagued freshman season. Matthews had shown promise and was a big hitter, but Richt's statement concerning Matthews' dismissal spoke volumes. Matthews was arrested in March, along with three other players, and charged with allegedly cashing school-issued financial aid checks twice.

"We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right," said Richt, who almost never publicly calls out players, be it current players or former players.

Ironically, Matthews tweeted that he'd likely wind up at Auburn or Louisville, a pair of schools that have become a safe house of sorts for Georgia players who get into trouble or decide to leave the program. Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq Wiggins have transferred to Louisville, and Nick Marshall is entering his second season as Auburn's quarterback.

Just in the last five or six years, Richt has cut loose a ton of highly regarded talent. Other than Matthews, Harvey-Clemons and Marshall, some of the other names include Isaiah Crowell, Zach Mettenberger, Chris Sanders, Ty Flourney-Smith, Brent Benedict and Washaun Ealey.

Below is a list of the some bigger names around the SEC who've either been dismissed or have decided to transfer for various reasons since the end of last season:

Alabama: RB Alvin Kamara

Florida: S Cody Riggs, QB Tyler Murphy

Georgia: S Josh Harvey-Clemons, QB Christian LeMay, S Tray Matthews, CB Shaq Wiggins

Kentucky: QB Jalen Whitlow

LSU: QB Stephen Rivers

Missouri: WR Dorial Green-Beckham

Ole Miss: OT Austin Golson

Tennessee: QB Riley Ferguson

Texas A&M: LB Darian Claiborne, DT Isaiah Golden, QB Matt Joeckel, S Kameron Miles

Missouri spring wrap

April, 30, 2014
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Three things we learned in the spring about the Missouri Tigers:

1. No questions at QB: Maty Mauk made quick work of his competition and left no doubt that he was both the Tigers' starting quarterback and their most vocal leader. The redshirt sophomore brings more flair to Mizzou's offense than predecessor James Franklin, as Mauk will take more risks with his arm and legs.

2. There's depth at WR: Even without dismissed star Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri has talent at receiver. Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt say they're ready to take over now that the Tigers have lost their top three wideouts. The seniors, who have 73 career receptions combined, must become more than role players. Levi Copelin and Darius White will battle for the other starting spot.

3. Strong up front: The defensive line was healthy, strong and effective in 2013, and Missouri is expecting little drop-off this fall. Pass-rushing defensive ends Kony Ealy and Michael Sam are gone, but Markus Golden and Shane Ray put up good numbers as reserves. Starting tackles Matt Hoch and Lucas Vincent return and bring stability.

Three questions for the fall:

1. CB play: Who replaces E.J. Gaines and Randy Ponder at cornerback? An inexperienced secondary is an overall concern, but the presence of sophomore CB Aarion Penton, who had a standout freshman season, gives the Tigers a lot of confidence. Sophomore John Gibson beat out several contenders for the other starting cornerback spot in spring practice.

2. Reshuffling on OL: Will Mizzou have another stalwart offensive line? The Tigers lost two starters from one of the SEC's best units, forcing some reshuffling. Evan Boehm is the anchor in his second year at center. LT Mitch Morse, RT Connor McGovern, LG Anthony Gatti and RG Mitch Hall bring lots of size and experience.

3. Banged-up LBs: Will the linebackers hold up? Longtime starters Andrew Wilson and Donovan Bonner are gone, returning junior Kentrell Brothers had surgery on a torn labrum in March, and sophomore Donavin Newsom had the same surgery just before the spring game. There's a lot of pressure on sophomore Michael Scherer and senior Darvin Ruise.

One way-too-early prediction:

Missouri had a breakthrough season in 2013, going 12-2 and finishing with the No. 5 ranking in the country. This fall, the Tigers will prove they were no fluke and repeat as SEC East champs thanks to a handful of impact players, some great coaching and a very manageable schedule.
Nate Brown hails from Georgia. He received offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech and South Carolina. But rather than stay close to come, the three-star wide receiver chose to stick with his original commitment and sign with Missouri, the reigning SEC East champ.

We caught up with the Peach State native to ask him why he chose Missouri and what his impact will be this season with Dorial Green-Beckham no longer on the team.

When you committed to Missouri, it was before they had emerged as the favorite in the SEC East. What made you go ahead and pull the trigger?

Brown: I took an unofficial visit up there over the summer and just worked, ran some routes, that sort of thing. Everybody up there was just really personable. It felt welcoming, and it wasn't anything fake. It was genuine. Also, how they use their receivers. I feel like that's the best fit for me, the offense that they run -- trying to get the ball to multiple guys and spreading their big targets out wide. Also, the academics. After I was there talking with some of the professors and academic advisers, they definitely take their academics seriously and that's a big thing for me in the house that I was raised in.

Were you surprised they made the run that they did last year?

Brown: Honestly, no. When I went up there, I saw how they worked. And Coach [Gary] Pinkel -- just talking with him -- he seems like he really knows the game, and I think he's proven it on the field. Just talking to some of the guys and seeing how they work, how they work together, it was really a team-based atmosphere. Everybody's just trying to get the next person up to par, and that's what it takes. I saw them progressing as the season went on, and when they finally did face a big opponent, they delivered.

Georgia entered the mix late. You're a Georgia guy. Was that tempting?

Brown: It was tempting a little bit. After I went [to Georgia], I took an unofficial visit to South Carolina also, and I didn't really get that same feel as I did with the Missouri coaching staff and the atmosphere at Missouri. Just talking to other coaches, I kind of got the same vibe from Georgia, South Carolina and these other schools, but Missouri really stood apart. Once I committed, I couldn't find any better. I felt like that was the place for me.

What were your thoughts when you heard that Green-Beckham had been dismissed from the team?

Brown: I got a text from Maty [Mauk] and Eddie [Printz], just saying that I need to be ready. You can't predict the future. Things come up, situations like that, and the next guy just has to be ready to step in line. That's motivated me more.

How does that loss change the outlook for this team?

Brown: To me, nothing's really changed. He was definitely a big factor, but I don't see the whole team falling apart or anything like that. They're just going to build around the guys they have there and not look back.

[+] EnlargeMaty Mauk
Kyle Rivas/Getty ImagesBrown said he's looking forward to playing with Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk.
You mentioned getting a text from Maty Mauk. What do you expect from him this season as he takes over at quarterback?

Brown: They have a lot of weapons at quarterback this year, including Maty. I feel like going back and watching some of the games they played, he definitely knows how to be a leader, on and off the field. I just look forward to playing with him.

How about for you? What are your goals or expectations for your first year?

Brown: Just to contribute to the team. I'm going to go in with the mindset to try and earn a spot, and I'm going to work as hard as I can to get that spot. That's my main goal right now, just to work and contribute to the team in any way possible.

And what are you working on now to help get you ready for next fall?

Brown: I lift every morning. We have a weight training class, and then after school, I try to work on a lot of speed, footwork stuff. In between that time, I might go out and catch [balls] a couple days, but my main focus right now is just getting my speed up because I know the level of the game is night and day. It's so much faster in college than it is in high school. I want to get my speed up and get my hands ready for that type of atmosphere.
Ask Maty Mauk if the Missouri Tigers are his team now, and he doesn't hesitate to answer yes.

But there are words and there are deeds, and Mauk knows the difference.

A week ago he was just getting comfortable with the mantle of leadership that goes with the quarterback position, just settling in and stretching his legs. Then adversity rocked the program.

[+] EnlargeMaty Mauk, Sam Wren
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsMaty Mauk is looking forward to being the leader of Missouri's offense and working with an inexperienced receiver corps.
Sophomore wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, an all-world talent at receiver, was dismissed last Friday. In a flash, the offense -- Mauk's offense -- was dramatically altered.

Mauk sprang into action, gathering his offensive linemen and receivers.

"Yeah, it's hard," he said a few days later. "It's something we're not really focused on anymore. It's behind us and we can't do anything about it."

When Mauk rallied his troops they had one week of practice left before the annual Black & Gold game on Faurot Field (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET). They needed to start getting used to life without Green-Beckham.

"It's different," Mauk said of the new look. "[Green-Beckham] brings something to the table that not a lot of teams can have. But we have plenty of guys that can step in."

Without DGB, Missouri has to replace its top three receivers from a year ago. Green-Beckham, along with seniors L'Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas, combined for 167 of the team's 267 catches. They had 2,468 of Missouri's 3,540 receiving yards and 25 of the Tigers' 31 touchdowns through the air.

In other words, they left a huge void.

Or is it a great opportunity? That's how a leader would spin the situation.

Mauk listed his receivers earlier this week and spoke of their skills with such enthusiasm that one would hardly notice the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Green-Beckham-sized hole.

"You've got Darius [White] and Bud [Sasser] on the outside who are 6-3, 6-4 guys that run routes that are nice, crisp routes," Mauk said of his seniors. "I know them so well that I feel like we can run anything and be able to do whatever we want down the field together. And then you look inside at Jimmie [Hunt]. Jimmie's been here for a while. He's played. He's a tremendous guy in there.

"Levi [Copelin], he's stepping in. He brings something to the table that we might not have had. ... J'Mon Moore, who was a freshman last year, he's going to be something. I'm expecting huge things. That's a guy I'm on every day. He's really got to step up, especially with Dorial gone."

Urging his teammates on is something that comes naturally to Mauk. He started four games last year when starter James Franklin went down with a sprained shoulder. A 3-1 record, 1,071 yards passing and 11 touchdowns (to just two interceptions) gave Mauk instant credibility.

Franklin came back for the last four games of the season, and Mauk stepped aside.

"I understood what my role was," he said.

But Mauk saw an opening. There was an obvious contrast between Franklin and him. The senior was quiet, while the redshirt freshman was loud and demanding.

"Even when James came back I was like, 'These are still my guys, too,'" Mauk said. "Now it's just so natural to me that I can just come out here and say stuff. They understand me and they'll accept that and they'll get better."

Being an integral part of a 12-win season gave Mauk a voice, and he's using it to keep Missouri on track through words and deeds. He and his teammates know their breakthrough success in 2013 won't mean anything if they don't follow it up with another successful season.

"Everybody is picking us to be down at the bottom of the SEC East again," Mauk said. "That's just motivation for us. We just want to come out here and keep proving people wrong."

SEC lunchtime links

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
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The tax man cometh ...
video
It was the only decision Gary Pinkel could have made, and also the right one.

Missouri announced Friday afternoon that star receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was dismissed from the football program, just a day after the release of a damning police report in which he was accused of forcing his way into a female student's apartment and pushing her down four stairs.

Green-Beckham was suspended from the team indefinitely Monday, but the news came Friday that the talented junior receiver was done for good. Pinkel said that decision was made in conjunction with Missouri athletic director Mike Alden and "made with the best interests of all involved in mind."

In fairness, it would have been difficult to arrive at any other decision after reading the disturbing details in the police report as well as the revealing text messages between Green-Beckham’s girlfriend and the woman he's accused of pushing down the stairs.

The 18-year-old female student said the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Green-Beckham forced his way into her apartment in the wee hours of the morning Sunday and pushed her down at least four stairs. Green-Beckham was looking for his girlfriend, who later pleaded with the woman through a series of text messages not to press charges.

Sure enough, the woman didn’t press charges and cited her concerns about a potential backlash if she pursued the matter and a high-profile athlete such as Green-Beckham were to be arrested.

On Thursday, the Columbia (Mo.) police department announced that there would be no arrests in the case and that the case was closed after police did not get the proper cooperation.

Legally, Green-Beckham might have skated, but the damage had been done in terms of his Missouri football career. It was his third brush with trouble since arriving on campus in 2012 as the No. 3 high school prospect in the country.

[+] EnlargeDorial Green-Beckham
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsWith three run-ins with the law at Missouri, Dorial Green-Beckham's days with the Tigers are over.
Pinkel's core values for his football program are worth noting. One is being respectful of women, and Pinkel is on the record as saying that he spends a lot of time with his players on this topic.

Another one of Pinkel’s core values is not using drugs. Green-Beckham, who would have been a junior, already has two drug-related arrests on his record since coming to Mizzou.

The first core value in Pinkel’s program, though, is honesty.

So let’s be brutally honest here: If this were Pinkel's daughter who, according to the police report, was pushed down the stairs by Green-Beckham in her own apartment, there would have been zero chance of DGB returning to the team.

It's particularly troubling that an 18-year-old female is so scared and feels so threatened by the possible repercussions that she can’t bring herself to press charges against somebody she says broke into her apartment and then physically pushed her down stairs.

The text messages from Green-Beckham’s girlfriend are equally alarming, especially the one in which she says Green-Beckham had also hurt her and dragged her by the neck.

She later told investigators that she had been drinking and didn’t remember sending that text.

Clearly, she was concerned about Green-Beckham’s livelihood and his chance for a professional football career being damaged. That’s a common theme when talented players, especially those such as Green-Beckham who overcome tough backgrounds, go astray off the field.

But there’s also a line, and some of those lines you simply don’t cross.

One just happens to be among Pinkel’s core values in his Missouri program.

Even for the most talented of players, and players who would make a profound difference on the field, those core values apply 100 percent of the time.

That message rang out loud and clear Friday, when Mizzou sent one of the most gifted receivers in college football packing.

Where the Tigers go without him isn't as important as the fact that they did the right thing. Granted, there's not much depth coming back at receiver. Senior Bud Sasser is a returning starter, and fellow senior Darius White could be a breakout player next season. But between Green-Beckham and departed senior L'Damian Washington, the Tigers are losing 22 touchdown receptions.

That's a big loss for any team, and with sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk stepping in full-time as the starting quarterback, his development will become even more critical.

It's unfortunate for Mizzou and college football fans everywhere that we won't get to see Green-Beckham soaring into orbit to snare touchdown passes next season, or looking like he was shot out of a cannon after turning upfield on a slant route.

But this one's on him. He left the people at Mizzou who had stood behind him (namely Pinkel) after earlier missteps no choice.

Arrest or no arrest, he'd run out of chances.

SEC lunchtime links

April, 11, 2014
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Spring games galore this weekend! Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt will be in action on Saturday. But news isn't just on the field; there's plenty off the field, too:

SEC's lunch links

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9
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Ten of the Top 25 tailgating schools reside in the SEC, including all of the top six. Does this surprise anyone?
Missouri has a problem on its hands when it comes to one of its star players.

Three months after being arrested in a car which contained marijuana, rising junior wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was suspended indefinitely on Monday for an undisclosed violation of team polices. Green-Beckham, who is the Tigers' top returning receiver, won't be able to participate in any sort of team functions or practices, effective immediately. Coach Gary Pinkel made the decision after consulting with athletic director Mike Alden.

[+] EnlargeDorial Green-Beckham
Brett Davis/USA TODAY SportsDorial Green-Beckham, Missouri's top receiver, has been suspended indefinitely.
Since arriving in Columbia as the nation's No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2012, he has made eye-popping plays on the field and created some headaches for his coaches and teammates away from it. He was arrested as a freshman for possession of marijuana before his other drug-related arrest this past January. Charges from January's incident haven't been filed.

We don't know exactly what Green-Beckham is being suspended for, but it's clear that Pinkel has had enough of the antics. He suspended Green-Beckham for one game following his arrest in 2012 and on Monday alluded to the fact that multiple issues went into the decision to indefinitely suspend the Tigers' most talented player.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s the right thing to do for our football program, for the athletic department, and also for Dorial,” Pinkel said in his official statement. “We have high standards related to the expectations that come along with being a Missouri Tiger, and Dorial has not met those recently. Representing Mizzou and our fans is a privilege, and we’ll work with him during this process. It’s been disappointing to have this, and other issues which have taken place lately. It’s frustrating, because we work very hard to instill responsibility and discipline in our young men so that our program represents Mizzou the right way. These actions aren’t representative of those expectations, and we are addressing these issues head on."

Pinkel made it quite clear in his statement that he's frustrated and annoyed with Green-Beckham's behavior. Green-Beckham is supposed to be a leader and Missouri's offense is supposed to be revolve around him. It's hard for that to happen when he isn't around.

Tod Palmer of The Kansas City Star reports that Green-Beckham hasn't been arrested but is part of an ongoing investigation. What that investigation pertains to is unknown at the moment, but it was clearly something that sent Pinkel over the edge.

Regardless, it's very clear that Green-Beckham is struggling with his maturity. He's stunting his own growth as a person. He isn't showcasing good leadership skills and is putting himself before his own team. It's a shame because he's a special player to watch, but he's getting in his own way. Coaches don't indefinitely suspend players over petty incidents. This is something that Pinkel feels strongly about and the fact that Green-Beckham is his best player didn't get in the way of suspending him.

It's big of Pinkel, even if it does hurt his team. There are receiving options outside of Green-Beckham for Mizzou to work with, but none have the upside and overall skill. He was the nation's top receiver coming out of high school for a reason, and with L'Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas gone, this season was supposed to be the moment for the true Green-Beckham breakout we've been waiting for.

It certainly could still happen, but it isn't a given if Green-Beckham's off-the-field behavior isn't remedied.

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