Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman reported Friday afternoon Oklahoma officials are “confident” the NCAA will grant Missouri transfer wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham a waiver for immediate eligibility.
Given the nature of Green-Beckham’s split from Missouri, Kersey’s report elicited shock–including the below tweet from TCU head coach Gary Patterson.
— Gary Patterson (@TCUCoachP) August 1, 2014
Patterson’s Horned Frogs are scheduled to face the Sooners on Oct. 4 in their fourth game of the season. An Oklahoma offense with Dorial Green-Beckham in the lineup dramatically changes how Patterson and his staff game-plan.
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel dismissed Green-Beckham in the spring. The former 5-star recruit had a breakout sophomore campaign to help the Tigers to the SEC East championship, but a series of off-field incidents led to his ouster.
However, the confidence of Oklahoma brass that Green-Beckham will receive what Kersey describes as a “run-off” waiver is not necessarily indicative of any actual decision. Kersey reports OU has yet to actually file the appeal, and rather is banking that charges never being pressed against Green-Beckham makes him a run-off candidate.
While there may be precedent to support Oklahoma’s confidence, the NCAA can be wildly unpredictable in such matters.
Take another Sooners receiver, Jalen Saunders. Saunders sought a hardship waiver in 2012 when transferring in from Fresno State on the grounds that the Central Valley’s air quality negatively affected his breathing.
Saunders spent two seasons at Fresno State, including a sophomore campaign in which he was the primary target of quarterback Derek Carr. Following his breakout 2011 season, Fresno State replaced head coach Pat Hill with Tim DeRuyter; DeRuyter hired Dave Schramm as offensive coordinator, and Schramm introduced a spread attack that moved Saunders to the slot.
“It was the way I was being used in the slot. The offense wasn’t for me. That’s pretty much why I left,” Saunders said via ESPN.com’s Jake Trotter in May 2012.
It stands to reason the NCAA initially denied Saunders’ hardship appeal. However, four games into the Sooners’ season and just before the annual rivalry showdown with Texas, Saunders gained clearance.
The incongruous appeals process never fails to surprise, as illustrated in the Saunders’ case–and yet, nothing the NCAA decides regarding Dorial Green-Beckham will surprise me.
Pete Roussell of CoachingSearch.com offered a suggestion to solve this problem:
@dennisdoddcbs College football needs a commissioner.
— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) August 1, 2014
Of course, we’re also amid a turbulent period for the NFL. Its commissioner, Roger Goodell, is coming under fire for illogically applied suspensions, particularly the two games Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received for assaulting his then-fiancee’ in February.
Unlike Green-Beckham, Rice was charged.
Whether the NCAA grants Green-Beckham’s appeal or not, he will have two years of eligibility remaining. However, should he have to sit out the one season typically mandated for transfers, it’s possible–if not likely–Green-Beckham opts to enter the NFL draft, without ever playing a down in crimson and cream.