University of Missouri

Terry Beckner Jr. suspended from Mizzou football team after arrest for marijuana possession

Missouri freshman defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr.
Missouri freshman defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr.

Freshman defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. was suspended indefinitely from the Missouri football team Thursday following his arrest and citation the previous day for possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

MU coach Barry Odom said Thursday that Beckner also would face disciplinary measures from the team.

“I’m disappointed to learn of Terry’s actions,” Odom said in a release announcing Beckner’s suspension. “We take this very seriously.”

According to University of Missouri police, officers stopped the 2012 Chrysler 300 that Beckner was driving at 9:34 p.m. for driving without headlights at Conley and Missouri avenues in Columbia.

“When the officers approached the car, they observed the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle,” Maj. Brian Weimer said. “Through investigation they found a clear, plastic, Ziploc-style bag in the vehicle with marijuana in it.”

Beckner was arrested and released on a summons. Police said there was a passenger with Beckner, but nobody else was cited or arrested.

“I don’t want this incident to be viewed as a representation of our athletic department or football program, but we certainly understand the impact one poor decision can have,” Odom also said in the release. “While this behavior is not acceptable, this is a very challenging societal issue that is dealt with everywhere on a daily basis, and we will use this as a learning opportunity for Terry and our program.”

Beckner, an East St. Louis (Ill.) High School graduate, was selected to the All-Southeastern Conference freshman team and made various freshman All-America lists last season despite missing Missouri’s final two games. Beckner sustained a torn ACL and MCL, meniscus damage and a bone bruise in his right knee on the first defensive snap against BYU on Nov. 14 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Tigers’ medical staff said at the time Beckner should be ready in time for August’s fall camp.

Despite playing in only 10 games, Beckner — at 6 feet 4 and 300 pounds — tied for the team lead among interior linemen with 27 tackles, including eight for a loss with three sacks, which ranked third for Missouri.

Beckner, who also had two quarterback hurries with a forced fumble and a pass breakup, was a five-star recruit, according to ESPN and 247 Sports. He was ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 300 for the 2015 recruiting class and was ranked No. 8 nationally by 247 Sports.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer