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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Was the Pac-10 correct in reinstating Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount?

Pro: Blount deserves a second chance

We live in a society where a second chance is both encouraged and common. There is no reason why Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount should not be allowed to play this season.

What Blount did was simple. He punched a player that taunted him relentlessly after a disappointing and frustrating loss. He got caught up in the moment, let his emotions get the best of him, and committed a crime of passion.

Cue Uncle Leo from Seinfeld.

If Blount had hit or shoved Boise State’s Byron Hout below the neck during the Sept. 4 game, nothing would have been made of the situation. Instead, he decided to punch him in the face. I’m sorry, “”punch”” isn’t a fitting word. He knocked Hout out cold.

I say good for Blount.

At the time, Blount’s actions were deplorable. But looking back, they really weren’t that bad.

He did not commit a serious crime. There were no weapons, no drugs and no arrests.

There was no head-stomping, no late-hit on an innocent and defenseless player, and he didn’t pull an opponents hair so hard that he fell to the ground and lay motionless (I’m not match-maker, but maybe someone should introduce Blount to New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert).

Would anybody know who Hout was if he didn’t jump around like a little kid and say God-knows-what to Blount? I don’t think so. Hout hasn’t made a peep since the incident. He got what he deserved.

Blount, however, was one of the premier running backs in all of college football. He was projected as a second round pick in the NFL Draft with a possibility of cracking the first round if he performed well during the season.

The Oregon back was a leader on the team and took his individual struggles in the Boise State game as the main reason for his team struggles. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re the reason your team lost, and a person can only take so much when he’s in that mood.

Hout pushed Blount over the edge, and that was that.

But rather than drop out of school and try to salvage any chance at the NFL, Blount ignored the critics and kept trying. He went to class, to practice and worked hard when no one would have blamed him if he quit.

And now he’s back. He deserves the chance to prove that his punch was a one-time thing.

 

Con: Does the Pope crap in the woods?

A person is only as good as their word. In the case of the Oregon football team, it’s no good at all.

After then-starting running back LeGarrette Blount sucker-punched Boise State’s Byron Hout after a season-opening 19-8 loss in Idaho on Sept. 4, Oregon gave Blount a “”season-long suspension”” for the incident after looking at the tape.

Blount was provoked by Hout, but that doesn’t give Blount any right to sock him. He was even about six inches away from hitting Boise State head coach, Chris Petersen.

Would Oregon reinstate a player who hit a coach?

I don’t think so.

After Blount hopped back from the scene of the crime, almost like he wanted Round 2 to start, he continued his downright frightful demeanor. A handful of police officers, event security and a few teammates were all that stood in Blount’s way from an all-out Ron Artest moment in the stands. He fought his teammates while he tried to rush into the stands and take some parting shots at a few overly-boisterous Bronco fans. All captured by ESPN’s cameras.

The Ducks knew they had to take a stand and perhaps their initial stand was a bit too harsh. Personally, I thought a three- to five-game suspension seemed about right. Oregon tried to make a point that thuggery won’t be tolerated in their program — a noble thought.

I don’t think Blount is a bad person, he just exemplified stupidity on national TV for a few minutes. He deserves a second chance but that should come in the NFL, not college.

It looks like the Ducks took a page out of the Florida Gators’ book to help them reach their decision. Star Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes appeared to claw at the eyes of Georgia running back Washaun Ealey during a 41-17 win against Georgia. With Florida’s national title hopes still intact, Head Coach Urban Meyer issued a “”suspension”” of one half of the team’s next game. Spikes later suspended himself for the other half because he didn’t want to be a distraction.

Message sent by Florida: you can get away with just about anything if your team is winning.

Oregon probably thought its season would be a flop after flopping at Boise State, but two months later the Ducks find themselves in the hunt for the Rose Bowl. To improve their chances even more, why not bring back a good player?

Simple. Season-long suspension should mean just that — the entirety of a season.

Message to Oregon: Nobody likes a hypocrite.

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