More than a year before former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was booted from the football team, he was accused of pushing a female student into a door frame several times during a November 2012 incident.
The previously unreported incident surfaced as part of an “Outside the Lines” investigation into how crimes involving athletes at 10 major football and men’s basketball programs are handled by campus and city police.
Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin also were included among the schools examined.
According to the study, 46 athletes at MU were involved in 63 criminal incidents between 2009-14, but the cases weren’t prosecuted or charges were dropped 38 percent of the time. There were 12 athletes involved in multiple incidents.
That includes the Green-Beckham incident in which a student alleged that Green-Beckham, who was selected in the second round by the Tennessee Titans during last month’s NFL Draft, pushed her and cursed at her for telling her friend, Green-Beckham’s girlfriend, that he was cheating on her.
Green-Beckham was a freshman at the time and Michael Scherer, who will be a junior linebacker at Missouri this fall, intervened, according to the police report.
Police interviewed Green-Beckham, the alleged victim, Scherer and two other witnesses but determined “there was simply not enough evidence to support charging Green-Beckham with a crime,” the incident report said.
The victim, who had been drinking and had confronted Green-Beckham in other incident that didn’t involve the police, said she believed the witnesses probably lied to protect Green-Beckham, who was ranked by Rivals as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in the 2012 recruiting class.
Similar incidents and accusations were found at other schools and “Outside the Lines” concluded that several factors conspire to create an atmosphere of seemingly preferential treatment for athletes.
Occasionally, the favoritism shown toward high-profile athletes by police and prosecutors is blatant.
Access to prominent attorneys, aid from athletic department officials inserting themselves into investigations and a chilling effect on victims who fear of harassment from fans or the media also play a factor in why many cases are never prosecuted.
Green-Beckham was dismissed from the Tigers football team and transferred to Oklahoma last summer after details of a April 2014 incident in which he allegedly forced his way into an off-campus apartment, pushed a woman down several stairs and dragged another from the apartment by her neck.
No charges were brought in that case either when the second woman, who was involved with Green-Beckham, convinced the victim who was pushed down the stairs not to press charges.
Green-Beckham signed a four-year, $5.6 million rookie contract June 1 with the Titans.
Compared to the other nine programs “Outside the Lines” investigated, MU athletes appeared to receive preferential treatment less often than counterparts at Florida State, where 70 percent of cases weren’t prosecuted, Texas A&M (60 percent), Oregon State (60 percent), Michigan State (62 percent), Florida (56 percent), Notre Dame (50 percent) Oklahoma State (46 percent) and Wisconsin (40 percent).
However, Missouri did have the second-highest incidence of cases involving alleged sexual assault and violence against women during the time period studied.
That timeframe includes former running back Derrick Washington’s conviction for felony deviate sexual assault and alleged sexual assaults committed by former basketball player Michael Dixon that were never prosecuted in addition to Green-Beckham’s alleged assaults.