When Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount was slapped with a season-long suspension after punching Boise State’s Byron Hout after the season opener, many were surprised by just how severe it was.
The troubled Blount had a prior history of run-ins, so this was hardly his first strike. Still, a highly unscientific poll of the newsroom yielded a majority who felt the punishment didn’t fit the crime. Our always-stern readers, on the other hand, seemed ready to lock the guy up and throw away the key.
A few weeks after the incident, Ducks coach Chip Kelly announced today that Blount’s suspension could be lifted if he meets certain conditions. These, of course, include going to class, keeping out of further trouble and continuing to practice with the team.
In addition, Kelly said he reached out to experts in the field of psychology and former NFL coach Tony Dungy — who mentored Michael Vick after this imprisonment — to help.
On Thursday, the student newspaper in Eugene published a letter of apology from Blount. In it, he offers his “sincerest apologies and heartfelt regret.”
As a senior, the suspension effectively ended Blount’s collegiate career, one that had him drawing interest from the NFL.
So, does Blount deserve another chance to get out on the football field and improve his draft stock. He obviously made a terrible error in judgment, but should that follow him for the rest of his life — along the way eliminating his chances to earn a living playing football?
While his situation isn’t quite the same as Vick’s, it would seem that if he says and does the right things, a second chance would be afforded to him. After all, many would argue that his transgressions were made out of impulse as opposed to the pre-meditated ones Vick made.