On Campus: Risk versus reward in Norman

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Updated: 7/31 10:32 am

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Three brushes with the law is more than enough to cause some serious red flags to be raised regarding someone's decision-making.

However, if you are 6-foot-6, run like the wind and can take it to the house whenever the ball is in your hands, those red flags aren't as damning.

Once the nation's No. 1 recruit coming out of high school, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham continued his meteoric rise in the college game, becoming a standout playmaker, already oozing with NFL talent.

Just a sophomore in 2013, Green-Beckham hauled in 59 balls, for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns and was a huge part of Missouri's run to the SEC East crown. He then capped off his SEC campaign by catching six balls, for 144 yards and two touchdowns against the Auburn Tigers in the SEC Championship Game.

Talent has never been Green-Beckham's problem.

However, after two drug-related arrests (charged once) during his tenure in Columbia, two suspensions from the Missouri football program, and involvement in a burglary (although no charges were filed) this past April, the University of Missouri and head football coach Gary Pinkel had seen enough, as Green- Beckham was dismissed from the program.

"This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind," Pinkel said in a news release. "Dorial's priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs. As we have all along, we will continue to do everything we can to assist Dorial and his family. We care deeply about Dorial and his well-being, but hopefully he can benefit from a fresh start."

Of course, we know now that the fresh start Pinkel spoke of will come in Norman with Oklahoma, as Bob Stoops welcomed the troubled star wideout into the Sooner Nation just a few short weeks ago.

Stoops addressed the decision to add Green-Beckham to the Oklahoma roster at the Big 12 media event last week, as well as a waiver request filed in hopes that Green-Beckham can actually bypass the usual transfer rules and suit up with the Sooners this season.

"Yes, there's an appeal being processed, so that hasn't been ruled on yet," said Stoops. "But as far as the process of him being a part of our team, through extensive conversations, first of all, I had a close relationship as did Coach Norvell, our receiver coach, from recruiting Dorial personally as well as with his family.

"And then through extensive conversations with the people at Missouri and our people, it was something that we felt the person that he is, the potential that he has as a young man and as an individual, that we felt the opportunity to give him a second chance at our place could serve him well and be great for his future and believe in him as a young man and what he's able to maybe continue to become.

"So through that process we gave him the opportunity to be with us."

It is a gamble, to say the least, to add Green-Beckham to a team already loaded with talent and the odds-on-favorite to win the Big 12 Conference. Chemistry is a delicate thing and getting everyone onboard with the decision probably wasn't easy.

Whether he plays for the Sooners this year, in 2015 or never (could enter the NFL Draft next year), Stoops has made it clear that this move is about providing Green-Beckham with another opportunity to turn things around.

"In the end, I am not one to easily give up on young people," said Stoops at the Big 12 media event. "Dorial or anybody else. My coaches will tell you. We have a firm background in discipline.

"And I have given a lot of our players more than two chances to improve, to do things right and to show that you can grow from this and be the kind of person and citizen we know you can be.

"I believe Dorial can do that. And I feel strongly that he, along with all the people we work with, deserve that chance, to show they can be that kind of person. Again, I'm not one to give up on kids in a quick way. I never have."

It is a move on the surface that could put the Sooners in national title contention in the not too distant future.

Then again, it could backfire and tarnish the Stoops era.

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