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Good for Oregon! (And Boo on the NFL!)

9/5/09

The Oregon Ducks suspended a player for the whole season yesterday.

As you'll see in the article, LeGarrette Blount was suspended for the season and the post season after he punched a Boise State player after the game. Blount was heckled and his team was upset by the lower ranked team. He lost his temper (and apparently not for the first time) and punched another man in the face hard enough to knock him to his knees. Now he's not going to be playing for the season or the post season. They're keeping him on scholarship, and he can come back next year, but he's losing a full year in the spotlight.
Was this a good punishment? I think so. He's a repeat offender with a hair trigger for violence. He was threatening players, coaches, fans, and police. Football is a physical sport and there are many times in a football game when you are allowed to hit people, but after the whistles have blown is not one of them.
If there is a connection between the actions a player takes when not "in the game" and the consequences he should face in his career, then how does this reflect on the NFL's decision to allow Michael Vick back on the field and the Philadelphia Eagles' decision to hire him?
Granted, the actions taken and the player's proximity to the game and the level of play are all different. Does that matter, though? Let's see how these things line up.
Michael Vick:LeGarrette Blount:
Funded a dog fighting group.
Punched a guy in the face.
Bought land and facilities for this group to "train" dogs.Menaced some fans/coaches/cops.
Made t-shirts to advertise or represent this dog fighting team.
Knew that dogs were being tortured.
Knew that dogs were being killed in terrible ways.
Participated in the killing of dogs in terrible ways.


Vick is back in the NFL and back to earning millions of dollars after spending 2 years in prison.
Blount is not allowed to play football, but he's allowed to stay at the school and he's allowed to practice with the team.
What do you think about these situations?
Post Comment
cupper82 said...

I think this punishment is fair. Write another blog post!

Matt Deaton said...

Vick's a dirtbag, but he did serve some hard time... I think the NFL allowing him to come back is fine, but I think it's shameful that a team would actually take him. Were he to get picked up by the Titans, I would cease to be a Titans fan, though it's fine for the commish to allow it to happen. The puncher was treated too harshly, given that game fights typically only warrant a one game suspension, if that. It was unfair to blindside this guy with a year on the bench.

And yeah, write another blog post! I thought you'd abandoned this beast too--good to see you've put up some quality articles in the past couple months.

Matteson said...

Actually, I'm in favor of the punishment that the kid got. Football is a violent game, but that violence needs to be restricted to the field. Even in hocky, where punching is part of the game, you're not allowed to punch folks when you're not on the ice. (At least, I don't think so.)

The coach let him off early, right? The coach was new, and he wanted to make a statement about a situation for which there aren't firm rules. He let Blount come back and dominate the opposition as soon as he proved that he was committed to the team, the rules, and his grades. Seems like a good solution.

I understand what you're saying about Vick. I'm tempted to say the same thing. He should be allowed to have his job back if someone will hire him, right? Nope.

He is a dirt bag who is now back in a position to be idolized and cheered for. That's morally offensive to me. It's not less offensive than some of the other people who are allowed to continue in their high-profile positions despite being despicable. Warren Moon was one of my heroes until I found out that he beat his wife. I'm fickle like that.

I don't care about drugs. If you can do drugs and perform at the highest level then that's fine. If you beat your wife, shoot people, or if you torture-things-and-make-T-shirts-to-advertise-it then you shouldn't get to keep making millions of dollars and being idolized.

I don't care what else he does for a job, but I don't think he should ever get to be a hero again.