University of Oregon gives Blount second chance
NCCAA touchdown leader is reinstated

LeGarrette Blount is on track to be reinstated to the University of Oregon football team perhaps as soon as the Stanford game November 7.

LeGarrette is the all-time leader in touchdowns in a single season by a running back.

This news came after Blount’s apology letter in the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald student newspaper (www.dailyemerald.com/blount-sorry-for-boise-state-1.624096). Blount stated in his letter that he hoped that he could still be part of the university and pursue his degree even if he were not able to ever come back and play for the football team.

This is great news: it gives a man a second chance after he had to deal with the consequences of his actions. Personally, I think this situation was dealt with the wrong way in the first place. I agree that Blount deserved to be suspended. When you go after your teammates and spectators, you need to be punished. My problem lies in the original length of the suspension.

Let’s put our feet in Blount’s shoes for a moment.

Blount was ticked about the 37-32 home loss against Boise State last year. A Sports Illustrated journalist quoted him saying that Oregon owed Boise State “an ** whipping” while he was watching the video of teammate Jeremiah Masoli being taken out of the game due to a late hit and Ed Dickson being blind sided later in the game. Oregon was looking to go out and score 65 on the Broncos like they did against the Beavers. Game time arrives then and the young Oregon offensive line looks at nine men in the box and thinks “Really? Really? Nine men in the Box? I’m not ready for this!”

O.K., they may not have come straight out and said that, but the look on their faces really said it all. Then Blount carried the ball eight times for negative five yards. Oregon lost the game 19-8. Life sucks in his point of view. After all this, a Boise player comes up to Blount, shoves his shoulder pads and says, “Now you owe us two a** whippings!”

I hate to say it, but I might have done the same thing Blount did. Yes, you have to do a mental check if you’re looking from the outside. I do think that the suspension was the right thing to do, but I would have only taken him out for half the season. Especially when 18 players from Miami two years earlier in the “brawl” against Florida International University were only suspended for one game in 2006. There have also been incidents where a college player gets in a bar fight and does not get a suspension at all. Is a punch on the field the same as one off the field when you are a player for a university? It should be, but sadly it is not.

The incident after the Sept. 3 Boise State game is something that we all regret. National television coverage pressured the University of Oregon to make a stand and suspend Blount. It was the wrong decision. However, Kudos to the university for looking back on it after the situation calmed down and making a decision with better judgment.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.