College football: A day after Oregon’s season opened, it ended for running back LeGarrette Blount.
Blount was suspended for all remaining games on Friday for punching Boise State defensive end Byron Hout (Lake City High) in the jaw following the 16th-ranked Ducks’ 19-8 loss to the 14th-ranked Broncos the night before.
Because he is a senior, Blount’s playing days in Eugene are over.
Oregon’s first-year coach, Chip Kelly (pictured above at Friday’s press conference), told a sobbing Blount about his decision after reviewing tape of the altercation.
Celebrating the victory on the Broncos’ trademark blue turf, Hout yelled in Blount’s face and tapped him on the shoulder pad. Before Boise State coach Chris Petersen could pull Hout away, Blount landed a right to Hout’s jaw, knocking him to his knees.
Blount also had to be restrained by police from fans heckling him on the way to the locker room.
Later he apologized saying, “It was just something that I shouldn’t have done. I lost my head.”
Still, Kelly was taken aback when he saw the punch on tape.
“That’s not what we’re all about. That’s not what we coach. That’s not what we stand for and it’s unacceptable,” he said.
Blount’s suspension includes bowl games. He will remain on scholarship, however, and will continue to practice with the team.
“He is taking this very hard,” Kelly said, choking up. “He understands he made a mistake and he has to pay for the mistake. But we’re not going to throw LeGarrette Blount out on the street.”
Hout won’t be suspended for taunting Blount. Boise State spokesman Max Corbet told the Associated Press in an e-mail that Petersen planned to spend time with Hout this week to help him learn from what happened.
“We’re not good with it,” Petersen told the Idaho Statesman newspaper. “It always takes two to tangle. Those are things we preach about every day around here. We just need to keep our mouths closed … and let our play speak for itself.
“Byron’s mistake wasn’t as extreme as LeGarrette’s, but he was still wrong.”
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