LeGarrette Blount has been suspended for the remainder of Oregon's football season for punching Boise State's Byron Hout in an ugly post-game incident that has been played over and over again on ESPN and YouTube. But in all those re-playings of the incident, we still haven't learned what Hout said to Blount to provoke such an act. And there's speculation that Hout said something every bit as ugly as Blount's reaction.
The speculation started almost immediately after Thursday night's incident, with Bob Rickert of The Oregonian writing this:
The most circulated and not denied by those inside the Boise State program is that Hout asked Blount how his dead family member was doing. The one he buried just a few weeks ago. Asking how someone's recently dead family member is. Very classy Boise State. Well done. The second rumor not denied by Boise State's program is that Hout dropped the N bomb.Those are awfully serious allegations about Hout, and they've been made elsewhere, including at the San Francisco Chronicle, where a blog post by Zennie Abraham was hedlined, "Was Oregon's LeGarrette Blount called the N-word by Boise State's Byron Hout?"
That reaction came last week, but even after a long weekend, it hasn't died down. The Big Lead and the Chicago Sun-Times both have pieces up this morning calling on Hout and Boise State to come forward and explain what, exactly, Hout said.
I want to give Hout the benefit of the doubt and believe he wouldn't say what he's been accused of saying, but I also agree with those who say it's time for Hout to explain himself. Boise State coach Chris Petersen runs a good program and has acted responsibly through all of this, quickly jumping in to restrain Hout at the time and acknowledging immediately after the game that his own player was partially responsible for the incident. Now it's time for Petersen to tell Hout to fully explain himself.
And after that, let's hope Blount and Hout can both put the incident behind them.
UPDATE: The Oregonian has now removed the post that started all this speculation.