Byron Hout Provoked LeGarrette Blount Punch After Boise State-Oregon
Oregon football player LeGarrette Blount punched Boise State football player Byron Hout after Thursday night's game, and Blount is, rightly, getting a lot of criticism in the sports media this morning. But Hout deserves a share of criticism, too: He's the one who provoked the incident.
Watch the video closely, and you'll see that Blount, dejected after his team just lost, was walking off the field with his head down. Hout then grabbed Blount and shouted something. We don't know what Hout said, but whatever it was, it prompted Boise State coach Chris Petersen to run up to Hout, restrain him, and yell at him. Suffice to say, if Hout had just said, "good game," Petersen wouldn't have reacted that way.
Only after all that did Blount level Hout with a vicious straight right to the chin. Blount's punch was worse than Hout grabbing him, and it was worse than just about anything Hout could have said. But if Hout hadn't provoked Blount, the punch wouldn't have happened.
Petersen, to his credit, not only restrained Hout but said afterward, "It was just emotions getting the best of players" -- suggesting that he knew it was players on both teams, not just Blount, who overreacted in the heat of the moment. And it's also to Petersen's credit that after Blount punched Hout, none of the other Boise State players retaliated by punching Blount, which would have made an ugly scene even uglier.
Still, while everyone is calling this morning for Oregon to suspend Blount, Petersen should send a powerful message by disciplining Hout as well. Hout wasn't an innocent victim.
What do you think of the Hout-Blount incident? Tell me on Twitter @MichaelDavSmith.