Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Thursday, October 1, 2009

LeGarrette Blount: Is it too late to right a wrong?

There’s a flicker of hope that suspended Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount will play this season. Blount was suspended for the entire season after punching a Boise St. player Byron Hout a month ago. As Blount was walking off the field Hout taunted Blount who in turn decked him. After “the punch” all hell broke loose with verbal sparring from fans, players and the coaches. Blount was so angry he had to be restrained by security and teammates.

After Blount calmed down he promptly issued an apology in the locker room but it wasn’t enough. Public pressure all but ensured his fate was sealed. Many think Oregon head coach Chip Kelly pulled the trigger too quickly and made the wrong decision to suspend Blount for the season.

Is it too late to right a wrong here?

Kelly reportedly has had recent talks with Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy about Blount’s situation. Kelly outlined that Blount must take specific academic and behavioral steps if there’s a chance for him to play this season. It’s good that voices of reason got involved because Blount’s season shouldn’t have been taken away to begin with.

Many think Blount shouldn’t have a second chance while some think Blount was treated unfairly. I suggested initially when the story broke a month ago it would have been just to suspend Blount indefinitely or for half the season. Instead Kelly threw the book at him.

One must wonder why the possible change of heart. Why consider lifting Blount’s season-long suspension now?

Perhaps the talks with Gruden and Dungy set the proper atmosphere for level heads to prevail. But if Blout is allowed to play it certainly won’t be in the name of morality. If Blount plays again it will be because of the almighty dollar.

Going into this weekend Oregon is 3-1 with a big game coming up against USC later in this season. With the Trojans shocking loss to Washington and losing star running back Stafon Johnson to a freak weigh lifting accident the Ducks see an opportunity to sneak in the back door and win the conference. A rested Blount potentially running the rock with something to prove could only help the Ducks stay in the thick of the PAC-10 race and secure a solid bowl game.

But what about the instigator in this whole fiasco Byron Hout? Anyone remember him?

Hout is an often overlooked part in this whole equation. Hout hasn’t received any punishments nor lost any playing time. He’s been largely exempt from blame and suspension. Mainstream media is largely focusing on Blount’s actions instead of viewing the actions of Hout and the entire situation as it unfolded. Without question Hout should’ve been subject to disciplinary punishment as well. Blount was obviously provoked by Hout’s actions wasn’t he? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I’m willing to wager if Hout had struck Blount Hout wouldn’t have been suspended for entire season.

You know the reason why.

In any event, my prediction is if Oregon continues to win heading into the upcoming USC game Blount will be allowed to play. He’ll simply be used as a tool to help the team win albeit for the wrong reasons.

Blount should be allowed to play because he’s doing the right things off the field. He’s obviously demonstrated remorse. Everyone deserves a second chance in most cases. It’s just not right to continue to hold Blount hostage for an error in judgment.

After all, it’s never too late to correct a wrong.

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