September 04, 2009
LeGarrette Blount, we hardly knew ye:
Running back LeGarrette Blount has been suspended for the rest of the season for his actions Thursday night, ending his career at Oregon.
Blount finishes his Oregon career with 997 rushing yards, including the negative-5 yards he ran for Thursday night, on eight carries.
Before he erupted in a violent fury on the field following the Ducks' loss to Boise State, I regularly referred to Blount as "1,000-yard rusher LeGarrette Blount"; with his career finished on the heels of probably the worst performance of his life, he can't even claim that distinction. The Oregonian paints a sober scene of Blount's last day with the team, which was greeted at the athletic department by televisions displaying simply the 'O' logo instead of their usual fare, ESPN, which has been running Blount's sucker punch and attempt to charge after mouthy Boise State fans ad nauseum throughout the day. From what I can tell, a couple of photo wire services (though not the Associated Press) have removed pictures of Blount from last night's game.
And make no mistake: Blount's career is finished. Even if his talent recommended him (which is debatable after only a year at the major college level out of junior college), he's certainly blacklisted from the suddenly ultra-image-conscious NFL, especially given that he'd already endured suspensions this year. My guess is we'll be remembering Blount alongside Buddy Ryan, Woody Hayes and Kermit Washington for years, as will his potential employers -- a cruel but inevitable fate when you "lose your head" twice in a span of two or three minutes on national television.
Byron Hout, the stunned victim of Blount's sucker punch, isn't getting away free for provoking the shot: Hout won't be suspended, but will face internal discipline, according to Boise coach Chris Petersen, who was clear today that he's "not good with it." Hout singled Blount out and shoved him as they passed each other on the field; the reason Hout didn't see Blount's shot coming is because Petersen had interjected himself to separate the pair. But however vile or inappropriate the exchange from Hout's end, there's nothing he could have said in that situation that could have justified a right hook, or sacrificing a promising career out of frustration over one bad game.