Family Must Ask ‘What Really Happened?’

By Gregory Moore
Updated: November 12, 2007

SAN ANTONIO — The mother of former University of North Texas player, Dominique Green, said that she expected the outcome of an internal investigation but vowed that the family will pursue their racial discrimination allegation against the school. “I am not surprised,” Pearlie Green said. “We knew the school wouldn’t do anything. That is not the end of the story. We definitely are going to continue to pursue it and are thinking about taking legal action. They have a lot to lose with those coaches they have under contract.” As a mother, Ms. Green may have every reason to believe her son may have been mistreated and many parents have the right to take their child’s side. However, Green isn’t a 12-year-old at a playground, he is an adult now who was attending college away from home and the Green family may not even know the whole truth because as even adult children will do, they will only tell their side. Thusly when the younger Green decided to file his racial discrimination complaint against head football coach Todd Dodge and his staff, Green set in motion an investigation that would uncover every single rock it would find. And when two other young men joined Green’s complaint, whatever the investigation found on them was going to be exposed as well. Now what we have is a family looking a little blistered because they may have been blind-sided by their son’s non-disclosure of why he was truly suspended. For the record, here is what the UNT investigation found about Green and one of his co-complainants: • Desmond Chatman, who was interviewed as part of the investigation but did not submit a written statement to the university, claimed initially his punishment didn’t fit the crime. According to UNT’s findings, Chatman was suspended for “missing the practice and misrepresenting his whereabouts during the practice session.” • Green, who told a Dallas newspaper that he was suspended for using the slang word “hood” during the Middle Tennessee loss, said that he was suspended for that phrase. Dodge and assistant coach Clayton George said Green’s “insubordination and the accumulated instances of poor attitude”, which included using profanity after being pulled from the Middle Tennessee game, were the reasons for Green’s suspension. It was the second strike for Green this season, who didn’t play in UNT’s first two games for disciplinary reasons. The first time his name came up was in a cafeteria incident in which the report says that he did not present proper identification. As stated earlier, I can understand why Ms. Green may feel her son was wrongfully punished but she isn’t up in Denton, Texas where her son is. It is quite possible, actually more likely than not, that her son was indeed very belligerent towards one of the coaches and when he was confronted by an adult male to “knock it off’ and represent your school and team accordingly, he simply went off. I am going to say something that will definitely get a flood of e-mails to me but it has to be said; Ms. Green needs to ask her son what the heck is his problem with male authority. Ms. Green needs to ask her son, “what really happened’ on that fateful day because his story and the facts as they are coming out simply do not jive. What is jiving though is the fact that Green is an example of a young black man who has never had a male role model chastise him while growing up. Why do I say that?

Because it seems that the report from UNT supports the fact that Dominique Green is a hothead, a loose cannon, someone who cannot conform to rules and regulations. Why do I say that? Because he got himself suspended for being insubordinate to an assistant coach and instead of being man enough to admit that he was wrong in his own actions, he has blamed someone else for them.

The same can be said for Mr. Chatman because he also has not taken responsibility for his actions of not being at a mandatory workout. These actions by these two men coincide with black males not being able to handle instructions, rules and regulations well and they are fitting a pattern where it is always somebody else’s fault and never their own. In other words, these actions usually come up with the words, “the white man is holding me down” reference.

It may be a bold statement for me to say that Mr. Green’s complaint is nothing more than sour grapes but then again how can I not find that to be the case? He has sent his complaint to the Denton chapter of the NAACP and they have already postponed TWO appearances for interviews at the school?

Hello, is anyone seeing this picture come into focus or am I the only one seeing this complaint become nothing more than a smoke screen to a bigger problem. Erika Cain, the NAACP representative for the area, has not made herself available for comment by the media since this story broke and that, in itself, is quite odd by NAACP standards. Yes, I am questioning whether Green and Chatman have a case and I’m questioning it quite loudly.

Racial discrimination is serious business and as I have wrote in a previous op/ed about this topic, I feel very strongly about having a zero tolerance towards anyone who violates the sanctity and trust of the university process. In my piece I wrote that if Dodge and his staff were found to be guilty of discriminating against these young men, then he needed to be fired from his position.

Yet I also said that if Green’s complaint came back as nothing more than a disgruntled player trying to make himself look good by false accusations, he needed to be removed from the team and possibly kicked out of school if his GPA did not meet the standards set.

Well the internal investigation has come back and Green’s accusations are looking mighty hollow right now. It is time for Mr. Green to face the music and look for another place to play football if he so desires.

But I have to also look at Ms. Green and her family because they need to help everyone get to the bottom of this accusation. It is perfectly normal for her, as a mother, to believe in her son but these are serious allegations and she needs to make absolutely sure that her son did not precipitate his own departure from the team.

He needs to ask Dominique point blank and let him know on no uncertain terms that she will not tolerate being an accessory to a lie. She, as a mother, needs to take the evidence that the school has and do her own interrogation of her son.

She needs to ask him about his past troubles and ask him why he disrespected a coach? Basically she needs to ask him, “Dominique, what really happened and don’t lie to me”. She needs to be willing to hear the truth no matter how painful it may be.

Ms. Green and her family need to be willing to ask Dominique those questions because if they do not, they will be living a lie. Whether she likes it or not, the University of North Texas took her son’s complaint seriously because if they didn’t, they would have to answer to much higher powers.

For them, they do not need the NCAA or the federal government looking into possible civil rights violations. They took the extraordinary step in trying to make sure that all parties had their chance to stake their claim and they let the investigation come forth where it would reveal itself by the evidence that was presented.

Ms. Green needs to understand is that Dominique had violated a sacred trust not only to his teammates and staff but also to the school itself. As a student athlete, Dominique was a member of a group of students who represented the university at all times.

He was an ambassador and he vowed to be nothing but a positive example when he went to that school and represented the Mean Green on the gridiron. But his job didn’t stop there; it was a 24/7, 365 job that he didn’t take seriously. It is the very reason why he was ultimately suspended indefinitely from the football team; because he didn’t fulfill his obligations of being a positive ambassador to the school.

That is why it is so imperative for Ms. Green and her family to press her son for the truth. It’s not easy to get kicked off of a Division 1 football team but it isn’t hard either. She needs to ask her son for the truth Dominique needs to get off his high horse and admit to whatever culpability he may have.

If not, then we will once again see a serious allegation be used for nothing more than the personal gain of someone who just couldn’t follow the rules.