Oklahoma could have both WR Dorial Green-Beckham and LB Frank Shannon on the roster in 2014. Or it could have neither. Or, if the moves aren't thwarted by the NCAA or appeal, Green-Beckham will be on the roster and Shannon won't.
The Sooners reportedly filed the paperwork Tuesday to ask the NCAA to make Green-Beckham immediately eligible. After being dismissed from Missouri, Green-Beckham enrolled with Oklahoma and the school is using the "run-off" waiver in its efforts to have the former No. 1 overall recruit on the field in 2014.
On Monday, the school announced that Shannon was facing a one-year ban for breach of Title IX policy. He was Oklahoma's leading tackler in 2013 with 92 tackles.
What did Shannon do to face suspension and what did Green-Beckham do to be dismissed from Missouri? The situations have some parallels. Here's what we know:
• In January, Shannon was accused of sexual assault. In April, the Cleveland County District Attorney declined to press charges against Shannon saying the woman did not want to press charges and that it was unclear "what had actually taken place." She had accused him of forcibly having sex with her at his off-campus apartment after the two left a party together.
• Despite the lack of charges, Oklahoma was required to do a Title IX investigation into the incident. Per Oklahoma's statement on Monday, findings from a Title IX investigation were done on June 18 and the decision was made to suspend Shannon for the season. He is currently appealing the decision and until the process
• After previously being involved in two marijuana-related incidents, one which resulted in a plea deal and another that didn't result in any charges, Green-Beckham was involved in an April incident at a Columbia, Mo., apartment complex. According to the incident report, after forcing his way into an apartment in search of his girlfriend, Green-Beckham pushed a female down "at least" four stairs.
• The woman who was allegedly pushed declined to file charges in the matter, because, according to the incident report, "she was afraid of the media and community backlash." Though he wasn't charged, he was dismissed from Missouri the next day. In the statement announcing Green-Beckham's departure, athletic director Mike Alden termed it a "necessary step."
The alleged public offenses of both Green-Beckham and Shannon are not the same. However, they're both unacceptable. In its quest to get Green-Beckham eligible as soon as possible, the school is drawing a line – even if it's just perceived – between the two incidents. And that's wrong.
Each is an alleged crime against a woman. Allegations, that while different, are completely unacceptable and inappropriate. An alleged physical offense against a woman is just that. Both instances should be severely punishable.
And despite the lack of charges, both triggered action from the schools where the athletes were at the times of the allegations. While Shannon's matter is a university one and not simply a football one, it shouldn't be a deciding factor between the two situations. Playing football isn't a basic right that automatically accompanies enrollment in a university.
Oklahoma officials have maintained since after Green-Beckham enrolled in July that they're confident of his immediate eligibility. If the NCAA inexplicably grants him immediate eligibility he could be on the field for the first game of the season. If Shannon's appeal of his suspension is denied, he won't be. If those two scenarios happen, Oklahoma will be asked to explain the demarcation between them.
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