I will be posting some of my published articles from The Tamarack newspaper at Naugatuck Valley Community College. Look for this and other articles each month.
On September 3, 2009, the college football season began. The 16th ranked Oregon, and 14th ranked Boise State played in front of a raucous crown in Boise, Idaho. Boise State, a perennial BCS buster every season, and Oregon, ready to battle USC for the Pac-10 title both needed the win to get their seasons going strong. The pre game hype was incredible and both teams were going at each other during interviews.
What happened once both teams stepped onto the blue FieldTurf was LeGarrette Blount, who was the key figure in smack talking before the game was shut down. Blount gained -5 yards rushing with no touchdowns, and Boise State won the game 19-8. After the game, Boise State DE Byron Hout ran up to Blount, patted him on the shoulder and said something to Blount. What Blount did next was criminal and should have been treated as such. Blount sucker punched Hout as his coach was trying to get him away from Blount. The next day, Blount was suspended indefinitely by the college. The senior RB’s collegiate career and possible NFL aspirations were put in jeopardy.
However, on October 1st, Blount had an apology printed in the Oregon Daily Emerald. After meeting certain undisclosed guidelines set forth by the college, Blount was reinstated to play again from November 14th on. In the two games since his reinstatement, Blount has suited up for both games, but has yet to play a snap in either game. The Oregon football team recovered well from the aftermath of the incident with huge victories over Utah, California, and UCLA in the early going. Ironically, it was only after the California win on September 26th, that all this talk of re-instatement came up again.
Could Oregon have planned this out from the beginning? Could they have continued to allow Blount to practice with the team despite the suspension just in case they were in position to win the Pac-10 title, get into a BCS bowl and receive all the money that comes from that? If this was the case, the NCAA should have been there from the beginning to say to Oregon, no, Blount can’t practice with the team. No you can’t just change your mind about the suspension. They should be taking control of the situation, and rule that Blount cannot play again for your team. My question is where has the NCAA been in this matter? In the time that has past since the incident, the NCAA was nowhere to be found with a punishment. Now with talk of re-instatement, the NCAA is still keeping quiet. That is not typical of the league. The NCAA is usually very quick to intervene and hand out punishments.
Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant was ruled ineligible to play by his college. The only reason Oklahoma State handed down the punishment themselves was they were expecting the NCAA to come in and hand that punishment down, plus more. Ok. State was expecting the NCAA to take away wins along with ineligibility ruling. What has caused this commotion with Bryant and the NCAA? Bryant sought out help from former NFL star Deion Sanders. He went to Sanders home during the summer for workouts, advice, and dinner. The NCAA decided to question Bryant about his meetings were Sanders, and Bryant lied and said no to being at Sanders home for dinner. The NCAA took this lie as Bryant covering up the relationship with Sanders. They assumed because of the lie that Sanders was some sort of middle man for sports agents which is against the rules in the NCAA. Bryant is a projected top 10 draft pick in next April’s NFL draft, and the battle to be his agent will be very cut-throat.
Bryant should have never lied to the NCAA, but in his own defense, he claimed to have lied because he thought just going to Sander’s home was a violation of rules. The fact that the NCAA questioned Bryant about this, and is jumping to conclusions is ridiculous. The fact that LeGarrette Blount will get to play again this year, and Bryant will not is a travesty. What Blount did was despicable, and Oregon allowing him to remain on the team is even worse. Oregon is supposed to be a leader in the Pac-10, but all they care about right now is revenue dollars. I’m not saying that Blount should never get a second chance. I’m on the Michael Vick side of the argument saying he should be allowed to play again after serving his debt to society. But one thing I wonder is, how can his teammates even trust him? Blount even went after them that night. All I am saying is the NCAA is supposed to be looking out for their student athletes and keep their best interests in mind at all times, but that’s just not something we see a lot of these days.