Oregon not only lost the battle of their opening game against Boise State, but they also lost a general, in standout senior running back LeGarrette Blount.
Following a disappointing performance against Boise State in which the Ducks suffered a 19-8 defeat, Blount was walking off the field when he decided to sucker punch BSU player Byron Hout. Prior to the right straight to Hout's jaw, Hout ran over to Blount antagonizing and instigating confrontation by yelling in Blount's face and tapping him on the shoulder pad.
Once the skirmish was broken up by Boise coaches and Oregon players, Blount was escorted off the field, but a sports fight would not be a fight until the fans were involved.
Blount showed signs of Ron "Ron Ron" Artest from the 2004 Pacers versus Pistons, as he answered the Boise fans rants with hostile attitude, attempting to enter the stands.
Oregon announced Friday, 15 hours following the end of the game, that Blount will be suspended for the remainder of the 2009 season for his post game altercation.
Oregon took action on the incident before the Pac-10 Conference and the NCAA could take further, possibly much harsher action on the program. His single moment of stupidity may cost the Ducks their season and him an NFL career.
The Ducks will now have to rely on freshman running back LaMichael James and Keyon Barner to take the majority of the carries in Blount's absence. Within the season opener, James had only two carries for 22 yards.
Barner, a freshman, is listed on the roster as a corner; however, under the recent circumstances, Coach Kelly has moved Barner to the offensive side in hopes of gaining another athletic back.
Blount, a 6'2", 240-pound junior college transfer, rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored a school record 17 touchdowns while splitting carries with Jeremiah Johnson and serving a three-game suspension.
The question for most fans now could be, "Is the indefinite season suspension of Blount not enough, too much or just right?"
Oregon took action on the situation prior to conference and NCAA regulation occurred, which was great in the public relations department, but was the punishment too excessive?
Blount was antagonized by an opposing player, who is not suffering similar punishment. It is understandable a punishment should have been served to Blount, however, the suspension was quickly issued and extremely severe. Oregon should have taken action stating an indefinite suspension which would not set forth a certain amount of games.
Yes, Blount should be accountable for his actions and punished to an extent. However, the WAC and NCAA should have also taken action on Byron Hout since BSU has failed to issue an acceptable punishment.
Blount’s collegiate career, which displayed his size, athletic ability, and various other intangibles to be an NFL back, is now over because of a reaction to an antagonizing Hout.
On Friday, Blount did issue an apology for his actions, but it was 15 hours too late as the damage to the school, the athletic department, the team, and himself was already done; the damage which has caused Blount his entire senior season and his draft stock to fall from an early second round selection to possibly a UFL character case.