The first weekend of college football is over and the big story is about Oregon running back Legarrette Blount and his postgame sucker punch of Boise State's Byron Hout. Not surprisingly, the video has gone viral and is fodder for all kind's of water-cooler chatter among college football fans and non-fans alike.
If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, then this video clip speaks volumes about today's culture. Obviously, I wasn't there. I've only been able to watch the video along with the rest of you. Blount's actions are horrific and without excuse. The school did the right thing in suspending him from the football program for the year. Perhaps our collective disgust is fueled by the fact that we know and believe that the anger and lack of sportsmanship shown by Blount is wrong. It's good that we're upset. But when I first watched the video, I was equally saddened by what seemed-to-be Hout's provocation through taunting. While that tuanting in no way shape or form can justify Blount's response, it was equally wrong.
If you spend any amount of time close to the sidelines these days, you can't help but notice that taunting is increasingly common, decreasingly frowned upon or stopped, and perhaps even seen as a normal and acceptable part of sport. That's a shame.
If indeed Hout was tuanting Blount, then there's two examples we can point to if we want to teach our kids lessons on how not to play. Kudo's to Boise State's head coach Chris Peterson for following up with Hout - an admission that Hout crossed the line. The Boise State football website includes this post: Boise State University head football coach Chris Petersen has issued a statement regarding the postgame incident involving Bronco defensive lineman Byron Hout. "The event that took place last night following our game between Byron and Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount was very unfortunate and we do not condone Byron's action," Petersen stated. "There will be disciplinary consequences for Bryon as a result of the incident last night and they will be handled internally." Petersen also stated that Hout's discipline does not include a game suspension.
If we want to prevent this kind of stuff at the college level, it might be a good thing for youth team coaches to sit anybody who talks trash. And if it happens again - at any level - let them sit longer.
What do you think?