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No Forgiving Blount Until He Tells All

Dec 30, 2009 – 10:11 PM
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Jay Mariotti

Jay Mariotti %BloggerTitle%

LeGarrette BlountLOS ANGELES -- It's a story that should be told, a redemptive tale that will continue to feel incomplete, forced and contrived until The Guy Who Threw The Sucker Punch speaks up. LeGarrette Blount had the perfect opportunity on a rainy morning in southern California, during a Rose Bowl Media Day session two days before a new year. Sports has been tattered by many scandals since his meltdown, the Tiger Woods debacle among them, and the abject shock of his Sept. 3 tantrum has been replaced by a desire to hear about the personal steps he took to have his suspension lifted.

So, where was he Wednesday?

Seems Blount was back at the Oregon team hotel in Beverly Hills, choosing to stay behind. Ducks tight end Ed Dickson, who is close to Blount, said his friend wanted to talk and suggested the decision to muzzle him was made by coach Chip Kelly. "He was on the bus this morning, and they kind of took him off the bus. It wasn't really him,'' Dickson said. "They didn't want him to get overwhelmed with all the questions. The (media) probably would have asked him about the first game.'' Uh, ya think? Yes, we would have inquired why Blount slugged Boise State's Byron Hout in the face after an opening-week loss, a sickening, ESPN-televised episode that ignited a national furor and prompted Kelly to suspend Blount for the season -- and, as a senior running back, the rest of his career -- until allowing him a chance to win reinstatement last month. But we also wanted to get to know the man behind the punch and see what he has learned from his heinous mistake, particularly as NFL front offices watch closely and wonder if he's worth a character gamble on the second day of the April draft. The longer Blount goes without addressing his ordeal publicly, the more difficult it will be to understand what he was thinking that night. We'll also be left to doubt exactly how he fulfilled the academic and attitudinal requirements that Kelly and the university installed for Blount to qualify for reinstatement.
Filed under: NCAA Football, Sports