Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Boise St. player still not disciplined for role in recent altercation

Apparently Boise St. player Byron Hout, who instigated former Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount into punching him, will not be disciplined for his role in the altercation which took place last week. After the game as Blount was leaving the field Hout taunted Blount. Blount took exception and punched Hout.

We all know Blount is gone with the wind because of his temporary lapse in judgment. Now his college career is over as he was suspended for the remainder of the year for the punch. Then there’s Hout who aided in creating the atmosphere for the altercation to take place and he gets nothing.

What makes this situation so extreme is one, it’s not being talked about anymore. In the world of sports things change daily like the interest rates. It’s a shame one guy gets the book thrown at him while the other gets off.
Boise St. head coach Chris Petersen has this to say yesterday regarding Hout, "Byron is being disciplined, there's no question about that," Petersen continued. "It was the wrong thing to do to say anything to anybody on the football field, but if everybody got suspended for saying something, half the teams wouldn't have guys to play games. I think it's something that everybody has learned from - our program and hopefully teams from the outside."
According to WAC Commissioner Karl Benson Hout violated the sportsmanship code which consists of three levels of punishment. It can consist of a private reprimand, a public reprimand or a suspension. Hout did not receive either of the last two.
Petersen’s quote suggested Hout has been disciplined, but how? Hout is still practicing, going to class and playing in games while Blount had everything taken away.

So how exactly was Hout disciplined? I guess Hout just got a slap on the butt and told not to do it again and off to class and the practice field he goes.
This whole situation is rather odd and unfair. Odd because it’s obvious one player is being treated unfairly by being disciplined too harshly and unfair because Hout seemingly has the support of the coach Petersen and WAC commissioner Karl Benson.

Let’s play role reversal here. Let’s say Hout punched Blount. Do you think Hout would have the book thrown at him?

Cut the cards as you wish but race plays a part in this situation. Racism in sports is a reflection of the society that created it. People are afraid to constructively talk about race out of fear. So let’s declare this be a “teachable moment.”

In this particular case race isn’t the preeminent variable but it exists based on how sanctions were administered. If Hout punched Blout rest assured at minimum both players would’ve been disciplined. It’s also safe to assume Hout wouldn’t have had his whole senior year taken away from him like Blount.

Also, if Blount were in Hout’s position many more people would be clamoring for justice by stating, “Why is the guy who instigated the whole thing (Blount) didn’t get disciplined?”

Another key variable is showing “the punch” incident on the jumbo-tron repeatedly after the game was over. Such shenanigans only made a bas situation worse while simultaneously reinforcing negative stereotypes. It showed the angry African American athlete who can’t control his emotions punching the white guy. ESPN got a hold of it and off it went. Blount could’ve gotten on his knees and begged for mercy on national television but it wouldn’t have done any good. Blount’s fate was already signed, sealed and delivered.

Say as you wish but with the passage of time this situation will continue to fade into oblivion like many other key issues that pervade in society and sports. As it fades the inequality remains, few lessons are learned, and the clock continues to tick. Just like a segment of society and the media wants it.

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