Missouri athletic director Mike Alden said the university did not support former Tigers wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham’s appeal for immediate eligibility at Oklahoma.
Green-Beckham’s appeal was denied Aug. 22 and he must sit out the 2014 season under the NCAA’s transfer rules. Alden said Missouri offered no opinion about the NCAA ruling.
Oklahoma sought a waiver under the NCAA’s “run-off rule,” which allows players who can’t return to their team for reasons outside their control to play right away with their new team.
“The NCAA never came to me and asked me anything about the waiver,” Alden said Wednesday during a meeting with reporters at Mizzou Arena.
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As part of the appeal process initiated by the Sooners, Missouri provided the NCAA information about Green-Beckham’s time with the football program and on campus, which is standard procedure in any transfer situation.
That was the extent of MU’s involvement, though Alden said he had several conversations with Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione that included dialogue about Green-Beckham.
Last week, MU chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said he wasn’t consulted about the decision to dismiss Green-Beckham in April after his name surfaced in an alleged burglary and assault.
According to a Columbia Police report, Green-Beckham allegedly broke into an off-campus apartment looking for his girlfriend and pushed a female roommate down several stairs in the course of searching the duplex. No arrests were made.
“I had nothing to do with coach (Gary) Pinkel’s decision,” Loftin said. “He actually called Mike Alden and told Mike it was his desire to dismiss DGB. Mike then called me and I said, ‘You guys take care of it.’ Do what’s right was my point.
“I didn’t make any decision personally, but I applauded coach Pinkel for his courage to take out probably his best receiver. But that was his call, and the A.D. and I both supported it strongly.”
Loftin said there was no appeal, nor a possible appeal, of Pinkel’s decision.
Green-Beckham also was subject to MU’s student-conduct process, which resulted in Loftin banning Green-Beckham from campus in April.
It’s unclear if Green-Beckham, who was the highest profile recruit Missouri has landed during Pinkel’s 14-year tenure, continued attending class.
Loftin said Green-Beckham “elected to leave the university” before the student-conduct process ended, but officially he remained an MU student until June 2.
Alden said Green-Beckham’s dismissal wasn’t meant to be an impactful statement after several months of legal entanglements by student-athletes.
Alden also addressed several other topics Wednesday:
Missouri played at Central Florida in 2012, travels to Toledo on Saturday and plays at Arkansas State next season.
It’s a unique — and, quite frankly, unwanted — result of changing conferences that the Tigers plan to phase out of future football schedules.
“In the future, our plans, what we would like to do in our road games, would have that be against one of the power five conferences,” Alden said.
Beginning in 2016, all Southeastern Conference schools are required to play at least one non-conference game against a team from the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac-12 conferences.
Missouri doesn’t expect to have any non-conference games against a team from the power five conferences next season and still doesn’t have one scheduled for 2016.
Alden indicated that Missouri remains interested in a neutral-site game in Kansas City or St. Louis as long as the schedule includes at least six home games at Memorial Stadium.
He also confirmed that there have been preliminary discussions about resuming a series against Illinois, though he said it wouldn’t take place in the near term.
New tech announced for Mizzou Arena
Missouri is renovating the basketball locker rooms and other support areas at Mizzou Arena. Fans won’t see those upgrades, but they certainly will notice a new Panasonic video board set to be installed for the 2014-15 season.
Plans also are advancing for a new indoor football practice facility behind the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex and a new softball stadium east of the Hearnes Center.
Alden said both projects are in the general design phase, but he expects an architect to be selected in January and approved by the Board of Curators with the goal of opening a new softball stadium for the 2017 season.
That means Missouri will not play host to the 2015 SEC softball championship as originally planned. Instead, the Tigers hope to host the conference tourney in 2018 or 2019.
Alden again said Hearnes eventually will be replaced, but there is still no timetable nor a plan.
Renovation draws raves
Alden said the Memorial Stadium east-side expansion’s debut was a hit Saturday with fans.
“That facility and the feedback we’ve gotten on that has been amazing,” he said. “It’s certainly a big-time facility, and it’s something that adds to Faurot Field probably unlike anything else we’ve done.”
Alden also said he was pleased with the crowd of 60,589 for a Labor Day weekend game, which he said was the second-largest for a Labor Day opener in 20 seasons.