Oregon Debacle Really Embarrassing

What a sad situation. Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount's punch of Boise State's Byron Hout played over and over to the embarrassment of not just himself but his family, school, conference, and the sport itself. No excuse, no apology, no second chances are necessary.

Maybe there will be an arrest warrant for assault, but considering he was provoked by the player he hit maybe some leniency will be shown. Myself, I'd kick him off my team for hitting his teammates when they went to cool him down. That is unforgivable and unacceptable considering that his teammates were only doing what he should have been doing all along.

All college coaches teach their team that they are one unit, and you are responsible for each other. You pull your teammates out of any situation that has the potential for violence. You teach the walk-away technique for any confrontation. You teach them to have each other's back but also to take their keys if you need to. You don't hit another player with a right cross when he is trying to help you. Blount committed a crime against both the opponent and his teammate. He will be kicked off his team for the rest of the season, and that's the right decision. He'll stay on the team and hopefully enter some anger management classes pronto.

But the bigger question is this: Was it just an isolated incident by a kid who was out of control, or it is reflective of culture? I don't think I have ever seen worse behavior since the Ducks went up our tunnel swearing insults at our team, our wives, and our recruits and then proceeded to tear our bowl game placards off the wall in our tunnel (this, after winning a game in which our kicker had missed two short field goals at the end that would have won the game for us). It was a classless act that was made worse by their coaches doing nothing when it happened.

We pounded them on the field the next year and left Autzen with them on their knees. We physically destroyed them that day and the previous year's incident was a big part of it.

That's why it was understandable that the Ducks had an axe to grind when they went to Boise last night. The problem was, Blount couldn't back up his pre-game talk and he really didn't like it when it was thrown back in his face.

It also made me remember the times we got spit on when leaving the press box in Eugene or when my wife was verbally assaulted trying to get back to her car. It is so bad now that I refuse wear purple or gold simply to avoid problems.

Is it reflective of the sport or just the school? Most likely it was just an out of control kid triggered by a disappointing performance (-7 yards on eight carries) and more importantly a sound thrashing by Boise State. Sure Hout was out of line, and he was in the process of being reprimanded by BSU Head Coach Chris Petersen when he got blindsided by Blount. That punch was a sucker punch in that the kid had turned away when it was thrown.

It was a really good punch and has already been excused by the Boise Police, BSU, and the player hit. It shouldn't be excused, however, by the NCAA, the league, and the team. All three bodies should meet and agree to set the same suspension. Allow him to pay a year and give him another year as a second chance. So far the school and the Pac-10 have agreed.

It was bought up that maybe Oregon should rethink its policy of going after JC running backs, considering what happened with Blount and with Ontario Smith. I think that is a gross generalization about JC kids, but considering Oregon played the gray area of admittance when they added a sports management major to specifically admit JC transfers - as well as the issue surrounding Cal RB J.J. Arrington and the eventual suspension of UO RB Coach Gary Campbell for his part in trying to illegally sign Arrington after he had already signed with the Bears - leads one to wonder what the Ducks might do down the road. Maybe someone should check how many of their JC kids admitted via the non-PE route have actually graduated from that major (If you don't have a PE major like WSU and some other schools do then you can't transfer in PE credits into any major which is a key consideration when recruiting JC players unless of course the JC's are within your state transfer rules as they are in California, Arizona, Kansas, and Texas. The unfortunate thing is that there are no Washington JC's playing football anymore).

This was a travesty of considerable ramifications. Like I said, it was really a sad deal.

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