School: Blount's actions 'reprehensible'
The Pac-10 later Friday will review tape of Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount's dropping Boise State linebacker Byron Hout with a postgame punch to the jaw to determine whether Blount will be disciplined, spokesman Jim Muldoon said.
Immediately following Oregon's 19-8 loss at Boise State on Thursday night, an ESPN replay of the incident showed Hout taunting Blount as the teams converged onto the field. As a Broncos assistant coach moved to separate Hout from Blount, the Oregon senior threw a right cross that connected with Hout's right jaw. Hout went down and popped right back up.
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First-year Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott is flying in from Boise, where he witnessed the incident firsthand. While Muldoon said Oregon could take action, he believes the ultimate punishment to be a conference matter.
Oregon University president Richard Lariviere calling Blount's behavior "reprehensible" in a statement Friday.
"We do not and will not tolerate the actions that were taken by our player. Oregon's loyal fans expect and deserve better," Lariviere said. "The University of Oregon Athletics Department is reviewing the situation and will take appropriate action, reflecting the seriousness of the player's behavior."
Boise State spokesman Max Corbet told The Associated Press in an e-mail Friday that head coach Chris Petersen will not suspend Hout. Instead, Petersen will spend time with Hout this week to help him learn from what happened.
Boise State replayed Blount slugging Hout several times on the giant screen in the north end zone of Bronco Stadium. Amid jeers from the crowd, Blount, who was being escorted from the field by Oregon assistant coach Scott Frost, got into another confrontation with fans.
According to Blount, one fan brandished a chair at him and another punched him. Two police officers and Frost nearly carried Blount to the Boise State athletic building, where the visiting team dresses.
After the game, a contrite Blount came out of the locker room.
"I should have handled that situation a lot better than I did," he said. "I apologize. We will never have a game like this again. ... The game, as it went on, just got more frustrating and more frustrating for me in general. I shouldn't have said anything. I shouldn't have done anything."
Blount, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound transfer from East Mississippi CC, rushed for 1,002 yards and a school-record 17 touchdowns last season. He carried the ball eight times for minus-5 yards and caught two passes for 13 yards against Boise State.
Blount's first missteps came in the offseason when, according to The Oregonian, he was suspended by first-year Ducks coach Chip Kelly for poor attendance at team meetings and workouts.
The two teams also met last year in Eugene, Ore., a 37-32 victory for Boise State. In that game, the Broncos committed two late hits that received much attention since, and last month Blount told Sports Illustrated that the Ducks owed the Broncos an "ass-whuppin'."
Kelly said he saw neither the incident on the field nor replays Thursday. Whatever Bellotti and the Pac-10 decide, Blount also will have to deal with an unhappy Kelly.
"There's no place in college football for that," Kelly said. " ... This [Boise State] is a heckuva football team. It shouldn't be marred by something after the fact. They beat us, and to react poorly after the game is not what we're all about. I just told the kids in the locker room that we have to learn how to play with emotion, not let emotion play with us. When you go out and get beat in a football game, you go out and shake that guy's hand and you go in the locker room and prepare for your next opponent. That stuff has no place in our program and won't have any place in our program."
Players from both sides, Blount included, met at midfield for a pregame handshake, the result of a sportsmanship initiative developed for this weekend's games by the American Football Coaches Association and the NCAA. Grant Teaff, the AFCA's executive director, said Friday the incident would not dampen the weekend.
"This case points out that we still need to have a commitment to sportsmanship and respect," Teaff told ESPN's Joe Schad. "It was sad as I watched [the events in Boise], but the good news is nobody joined in. That would have been a brawl back in the day. This was one player who was frustrated and infuriated and lost control."
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Ivan Maisel, ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad, ESPN The Magazine's Bruce Feldman and The Associated Press was used in this report.